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Full text of "Cascades and courage : the history of the town of Vernon and the city of Rockville, Connecticut /"

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university  of 



hbl,  stx 

F       104.V5B7  1955 
Cascades  and  courage  : 

3    T1S3    00555L,7r2    0 





Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2012  with  funding  from 

LYRASIS  members  and  Sloan  Foundation 



The  History  of  the  Town  of  Vernon 

and  the  City  of  Rockville 



Compiled  in  leisure  hours  by 

Title  Page 

Early  Historr  of  the  Town 

Local  Industrv 57 

Ecclesiastical  Historr  133 

Education  210 

The  History  of  the  City  278 

The  Hallowed  Chapters  of  Patriotism 342 

Illuminatino;  Facts    392 

A  Few  Important  Institutions 449 

Index  525 



Title  Page 

Government  of  the  People   1 

The  Town  of  Bolton   1 

v.   Town  of  Vernon  Incorporated 4 

Freemen  of  the  Town  of  Vernon 6 

v  First  Town  Meetings   8 

The  Fellowship  of  Believers 10 

The  First  Meeting  House  of  Bolton 10 

The  First  Meeting  House  of  North  Bolton 11 

The  First  Congregational  Church  of  Vernon 14 

•  Courageous  Beginnings   21 

Line  of  Descent  of  Lemuel  King 24 

Will  and  Codicil  of  Lemuel  King 25 

A  Letter  from  Hezekiah  Kino; 26 

The  Visit  of  General  Lafavette 27 

Dedication  of  Lafavette  Park 32 

A  Rare  Milestone   35 

v  Early  Transportation    37 

Vernon  Town  Earm 42 

The  Vernon  Post  Office 44 

Probate  Court   46 

Selected  Town  Meeting  Records  48 


Title  Page 

The  Old  Meeting  House  of  North  Bolton 11 

The  First  Congregational  Church  of  Vernon 15 

Town  Farm  and  Lafayette  Park 31 

A  Rare  Milestone  34 

Old  Tavern  at  Dobsonville 36 

"Waffle"  Tavern 38 



Connecticut's  Seal  bears  three  vines  representing  the  first 
three  towns — Hartford,  Windsor,  and  Wethersfield.  Emigrants 
from  Massachusetts,  these  pioneers  were  subject  for  the  first  year 
of  their  residence  to  the  General  Court  of  Massachusetts,  but  when 
they  came  to  Connecticut  they  promptly  desired  to  form  a  govern- 
ment according  to  their  own  ideas. 

As  long  ago  as  the  31st  day  of  May,  1638,  the  Rev.  Thomas 
Hooker  preached  his  now  famous  sermon  on  democratic  principles 
of  political  government.  Thomas  Hooker  had  been  dismissed  from 
the  Church  of  England  by  the  Bishop  of  London  in  1629  for  non- 
conformity. He  came  to  Boston  in  1633,  and  after  serving  as  pastor 
at  Cambridge,  he  led  a  group  of  settlers  to  the  banks  of  the  Con- 
necticut River  and  founded  Hartford  in  1636. 

On  January  14,  1639,  the  Freemen  of  Hartford,  Windsor  and 
Wethersfield  assembled  in  Hartford  to  listen  to  Mr.  Hooker  as  he 
propounded  his  philosophy  of  popular  government.  Deeply  im- 
pressed by  his  new  concepts,  they  adopted  his  principles  as  the 
basis  of  their  government  and  drew  up  what  is  now  called  the 
Fundamental  Orders  or  Constitution  of  Connecticut. 

The  five  most  important  principles  contained  therein  were: 

1.  All  the  authority  of  government  comes  directly  from  the  people. 

2.  There  shall  be  no  taxation  without  representation. 

3.  The  number  of  men  that  the  towns  shall  choose  to  help  make 
their  laws  shall  be  in  proportion  to  the  population  of  the  town. 

4.  All  Freemen  who  take  an  oath  to  be  faithful  to  the  State  shall 
have  the  right  to  vote. 

5.  New  towns  may  join  the  three  original  towns  and  live  under 
the  same  government. 

The  town  of  Bolton  was  originally  situated  on  the  northeast- 
erly edge  of  the  town  of  Hartford.  The  first  settler  is  not  known. 
The  date  of  its  settlement  was  the  May  session  of  the  General  Court 
of  1718.  Before  incorporation  it  was  known  as  Hartford  Moun- 
tains or  Hanover,  "Mountains  in  sight  of  Hartford." 

The  name  of  Bolton  was  chosen  from  the  Bolton  in  England, 
following  a  very  common  practice  among  the  early  settlers,  as  evi- 


denced  by  the  name  of  many  of  our  neighboring  towns  such  as 
Coventry,  Andover,  Mansfield,  Stafford,  Enfield  and  Hartford. 

The  town  was  about  eleven  miles  in  length  from  north  to  south 
and  from  three  to  five  miles  in  breadth  from  east  to  west.  A  census 
of  the  town  taken  in  1756  showed  a  population  of  951  whites,  11 
Negroes,  and  one  Indian.  In  1761,  five  years  later,  there  were  840 
whites,  11  Negroes,  and  no  Indian.  This  population  was  so  dis- 
tributed that  Bolton  proper  was  larger  than  the  North  Bolton  sec- 

The  town  and  Freemen's  meetings  were  held  alternately  in 
each  section,  so  that  many  inhabitants  were  compelled  to  travel 
long  distances  to  attend  such  meetings.  Consequently  a  large 
number  of  aged  and  infirm  people  could  not  attend. 

Moreover,  the  two  societies  were  divided  by  nature — a  moun- 
tain stood  between  them  which  rendered  communication  very  diffi- 
cult and  made  it  inconvenient  to  transact  the  business  of  the  Town. 
The  Selectmen  were  obliged  to  travel  six  or  seven  miles  to  confer 
on  town  matters. 

Further,  the  mountainous  land  was  poor  for  cultivation  and 
settlement,  and  the  fact  that  the  two  societies  were  nearly  equal 
in  numbers  produced  jealousy  among  the  inhabitants. 

On  June  4,  1795,  an  interesting,  although  unsuccessful,  Me- 
morial was  presented  to  the  General  Assembly  by  Samuel  Carver 
and  Saul  Alvord,  agents  for  the  first  Society  in  the  town  of  Bolton, 
and  Oliver  King,  agent  for  the  second  Society  in  said  town,  asking 
that  the  second  Society  be  incorporated  into  a  separate  town  to  be 
called  Richmond.  This  author  suggests  that  the  name,  Richmond, 
might  have  been  born  of  the  memory  of  the  pleasant  market-town 
of  Richmond,  near  York,  England.  It  is  significant  that  John  War- 
burton  and  Peter  Dobson,  who  figure  large  in  the  history  of  manu- 
facture in  Vernon,  came  from  Blackburn,  a  few  miles  only  from 
this  town  of  Richmond,  England.  However,  this  petition  was  not 

Thirteen  years  later,  at  a  Town  Meeting  legally  warned  and 
held  in  Bolton  on  the  18th  day  of  April,  1808  A.D.,  another  peti- 
tion was  presented,  the  name  of  Vernon  taking  the  place  of  Rich- 
mond. Ichabod  Warner  Esq.  was  chosen  Moderator. 
VOTED:  To  petition  the  General  Assembly  in  May  next  to  divide 
the  Town  of  Bolton  into  two  distinct  Towns  by  the  Parish  line. 
VOTED:  That  there  be  but  one  Representative  from  each  Town 


VOTED:  That  in  case  the  Town  shall  be  divided,  the  whole  of  the 
Record  Books  shall  belong  to  the  First  Society  which  will  still  re- 
tain the  name  of  Bolton.  That  the  Weights  and  Measures  shall  be 
equally  divided  between  the  Towns  according  to  their  just  value. 
That  Hannah  Goodrich,  one  of  the  present  poor,  shall  belong  to 
the  north  or  new  made  Town  and  that  Eunice  Marshal  and  James 
Fowler,  who  shall  become  poor  hereafter,  shall  belong  to  and  be 
supported  by  that  Town  where  they  did  or  shall  live  and  that  the 
division  of  the  poor  and  expense  shall  take  place  at  the  time  the 
Town  shall  be  divided;  and  all  Debts  now  contracted  shall  be 
equally  paid  by  each  Town  and  taxes  already  granted  shall  be  col- 
lected and  disposed  of  according  to  the  original  design. 
VOTED:  That  Messrs.  Saul  Alvord  and  Oliver  King  be  Agents  to 
carry  the  foregoing  votes  into  effect. 

Attest:  Oliver  King,  Town  Clerk. 

Oliver  King  was  for  many  years  prominently  identified  with 
Vernon's  affairs.  He  served  as  the  first  town  clerk  and  treasurer, 
and  held  those  offices  for  an  extended  period.  It  is  said  that  while 
he  lived  no  other  man  was  sent  to  the  Legislature  from  the  town. 

Saul  Alvord  was  an  extensive  landowner,  a  saddler  by  trade, 
and  later  kept  a  tavern  directly  west  from  the  Bolton  Church. 
Early  in  life  he  took  a  leading  position  in  town  affairs,  was  often 
a  member  of  the  Legislature,  selectman  of  the  town,  and  served 
as  first  postmaster  of  Bolton.  Mr.  Alvord  was  always  known  as 
"Captain"  Alvord  and  never  laid  aside  the  custom  of  dress  of  the 
Revolutionary  period. 

At  a  Town  Meeting  legally  warned  and  held  in  Bolton  on  the 
21st  day  of  November,  1808,  the  following  vote  was  passed  as 
herein  recorded: 

VOTED:  That  Saul  Alvord  and  Elijah  Talcott  be  a  Committee  to 
join  a  Committee  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  to  establish  the  line  be- 
tween the  Towns  of  Bolton  and  Vernon. 

Discarding  the  name  of  Richmond,  the  inhabitants  apparently 
preferred  the  name  Vernon.  We  can  only  surmise  that  the  warm 
memory  of  the  Father  of  our  Country,  who  had  died  but  nine 
years  before,  led  the  people  of  the  new  town  to  enshrine  in  their 
common  life  the  name  of  Washington's  home. 



The  town  of  Vernon  was  set  off  from  the  town  of  Bolton,  and 
by  an  act  of  the  General  Assembly  of  the  State  of  Connecticut  held 
at  New  Haven  on  the  second  Thursday  of  October,  1808,  was  in- 
corporated into  a  town  by  itself.  The  following  is  a  true  copy  of 
the  records: 

"Upon  the  petition  of  Oliver  King  and  Saul  Alvord, 
of  Bolton,  in  the  county  of  Tolland,  agents  for  said  town 
of  Bolton,  in  their  own  names,  and  in  the  names  and  behalf 
of  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants  of  said  town  of  Bolton, — 
showing  to  this  assembly  that  said  town  is  about  eleven 
miles  in  length  from  north  to  south,  and  from  three  to  five 
miles  in  width  from  east  to  west,  and  is  divided  into  two 
ecclesiastical  societies,  and  that  from  the  situation  and  cir- 
cumstances of  the  inhabitants  of  said  town,  the  same  ought 
to  be  divided  into  two  towns  by  the  society  lines;  and 
that  all  questions  respecting  the  debts,  poor,  bridges,  and 
all  matters  which  might  arise  in  consequence  of  a  division 
of  said  town,  have  been  amicably  settled  and  adjusted. 
Praying  for  an  act  of  assembly  to  divide  said  town  as  afore- 
said and  to  allow  each  town  as  aforesaid  and  to  allow  each 
town  one  representative  only,  as  by  Petition  on  file  dated 
the  3d  day  of  May,  A.D.  1808. 

"This  petition  was  brought  to  the  General  Assembly 
holden  at  Hartford  in  May  last,  and  thence  by  legal  con- 
tinuance, to  this  Assembly,  with  an  order  to  advertise 
notice  of  the  pendency  of  the  same,  which  order  has  been 
compiled  with  and  no  opposition  being  made  against  the 
prayer  of  said  petition  and  the  facts  stated  in  the  same 
being  proved — 

"Resolved,  by  this  Assembly,  that  the  inhabitants  liv- 
ing within  the  limits  of  the  society  of  North  Bolton,  in 
said  town  of  Bolton,  be  and  they  hereby  are  incorporated 
into  and  made  a  town  by  the  name  of  Vernon;  and  that 
they  and  their  successors,  inhabitants  within  said  limits, 
are,  and  shall  forever  remain  a  town  and  body  politic  with 
the  rights,  privileges  and  immunities  to  other  towns  be- 
longing, excepting  that  they  shall  elect  only  one  repre- 
sentative to  the  General  Assembly  and  the  lines  and  limits 
of  said  society  shall  be  the  lines  and  limits  of  said  town  of 


"And  it  is  further  resolved,  that  said  town  of  Vernon 
shall  hold  their  first  town  meeting  at  the  meeting  house 
in  said  Vernon  on  the  third  Monday  of  November  next,  at 
two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  to  choose  their  town  officers 
for  the  year  ensuing; — and  said  meeting  shall  be  warned 
by  posting  a  notification  to  the  effect  on  the  sign  post 
in  said  Vernon  ten  days  before  said  third  Monday  of  No- 
vember, which  notification  shall  be  signed  by  Oliver  King, 
Esquire,  who  shall  be  the  moderator  of  said  meeting;  and 
in  case  the  said  King  shall  fail  to  perform  the  duty  hereby 
assigned  to  him,  the  same  may  be  performed  by  any  other 
justice  of  the  peace  in  any  town  adjoining  said  town  of 
Vernon — 

"And  it  is  further  resolved,  that  said  town  of  Bolton 
shall  hereafter  elect  no  more  than  one  representative  to  a 
session  of  the  General  Assembly. 

"A  true  copy  of  Record,  examined  by 

"Samuel  Wyllys,  Secretary." 


In  those  early  days,  in  Connecticut,  universal  suffrage  was 
unknown.  There  were  severe  restrictions  surrounding  the  ballot. 
At  the  age  of  16,  all  male  persons  could  take  the  oath  of  fidelity  to 
the  State.     The  requirements  for  becoming  a  Freeman  follow: 

A  Freeman,  at  least  21  years  of  age,  possessed  of  free- 
hold estate  to  the  value  of  40  shillings  per  annum  or  40 
pounds  personal  estate  in  the  general  list  of  estates  in  that 
year  wherein  they  desire  to  be  admitted  Freeman,  being  of 
quiet  and  peaceful  behavior,  and  producing  a  certificate 
thereof  from  the  selectmen  of  the  town  that  they  are  quali- 
fied to  take  the  Freemen's  oath  which  must  be  done  in 
open  Freeman's  meeting,  but  previous  to  this  they  must 
have  taken  the  oath  of  fidelity  to  the  State. 


Being  by  the  Providence  of  God  an  Inhabitant  within 
the  Jurisdiction  of  Connecticut,  do  acknowledge  myself 
to  be  subject  to  the  Government  thereof,  and  do  swear  by 
the  great  and  fearful  name  of  the  everliving  God,  to  be 
true  and  faithful  unto  the  same,  and  do  submit  both  my 
person  and  estate  thereunto,  according  to  all  the  whole- 
some laws  and  orders  that  there  are,  or  hereafter  shall 
be  there  made,  and  established  by  lawful  authority,  and 
that  I  will  neither  plot  nor  practice  any  evil  against  the 
same,  nor  consent  to  any  that  shall  so  do,  but  will  timely 
discover  the  same  to  lawful  authority  there  established; 
and  that  I  will,  as  I  am  in  duty  bound,  maintain  the  honor 
of  the  same  and  of  the  lawful  magistrates  thereof,  pro- 
moting the  public  good  of  it,  whilst  I  shall  so  continue  an 
inhabitant  there;  and  whensoever  I  shall  give  my  vote  or 
suffrage  touching  any  matter  which  concerns  this  common- 
wealth being  called  thereunto,  will  give  it  as  in  my  con- 
science I  shall  judge,  may  conduce  to  the  best  good  of  the 
same,  without  respect  of  persons  or  favor  of  any  man.  So 
help  me  God  in  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

Taken  from  old  Bolton  Records 


In  1808  there  were  108  inhabitants  of  the  town  of  Vernon  who 
had  met  the  requirements  and  had  become  Freemen.  They  were 
the  following: 

Rev.  Ebenezer  Kellogg 
Jonathan  Smith 
Jonathan  Chapman 
Ezekiel  Olcott 
Ozias  Grant 
Roger  Loomis 
John  Payne 
Alexander  Kinney 
Phineas  Chapman 
James  Thrall 
Samuel  Root 
Elijah  Skinner 
Oliver  King 
Reuben  King 
John  Driggs 
Joshua  Pearl 
Thomas  Chapman 
Reuben  Skinner 
Soloman  Perrin 
Nathaniel  Rogers 
Benjamin  Talcott,  Jr. 
Caleb  Parsons 
Leonard  Rogers 
Ephraim  Tucker 
Jabez  Cheesbrough 
Elijah  Hammond 
Abraham  Whedon 
Roger  Darte 
Eli  Hammond 
Samuel  Talcott 
Joseph  Hyde 
Cornelius  Roberts 
Phineas  Talcott 
Habb  Wyles 
Wareham  Grant 
Jacob  Talcott 
Asher  Isham 
Thomas  W.  Kellogg 
Ebenezer  Hunt 
Scottoway  Hinkley 
Alexander  McLean 
Lemuel  Abbott 
Erastus  Kinney 
John  Warburton 
Aaron  Eaton 
Jonah  Sparks 
Abel  Driggs 
John  Bingham 
Ezekiel  Baker 
Elijah  Skinner,  Jr. 
Augustus  Grant 
Jesse  Miner 
Ebenezer  Kellogg,  Jr. 
Oliver  Hunt 

John  Darte 
Benjamin  Talcott 
David    Smith 
Elijah  Tucker 
Ashael  Webster 
Amos  Jones 
Ebenezer  Bivins 
David  Smith,  Jr. 
Ebenezer  Chapman 
Roswell  Smith 
Irad  Fuller 
Reuben  Sage 
Levi  Darte 
Daniel  Root 
John  Walker 
Lemuel  King 
Leavitt  Millard 
Elnathan  Grant 
Justus  Talcott 
Stephen   Fuller 
Joseph  Loomis 
Thaddeus  Fitch 
Alvan  Talcott 
Elijah  Payne 
Simeon  Cooley 
Daniel  Daniels 
Ezekiel  Olcott,  Jr. 
Normand  Walker 
Shubael  Sparks 
Russell  Thrall 
Samuel  Lyman 
Warren  Kinney 
Lebbeus  P.  Tinker 
Delano  Abbott 
John  N.  Hall 
Francis  McLean 
Elliott  Palmer 
Daniel  Fuller 
Joshua  Pearl,  Jr. 
Hosea  Brownson 
Curtis   Crane 
John  Chapman 
Lee  L.  Rogers 
Chester  King 
Oliver  H.  King 
Herman  Hyde 
John  Cadey 
Russell  King 
Hosea  Tucker 
Jameson  Cheesebrough 
Ashael  Cadey 
Russell  Cadey 
Reuben  Sage,  Jr. 
Ozias  Bissell 

These,  then,  were  the  legal  voters  who  were  called  to  the  first 
meeting  of  the  Town  of  Vernon. 


The  first  town  meeting  of  Vernon  was  held  according  to  vote 
at  the  Meeting  House  on  the  third  Monday  in  November,  1808. 
Following  is  a  copy  of  the  proceedings  of  the  meeting,  culled  from 
the  records: 

At  a  town  meeting  legally  warned  and  held  in  Vernon  on  the 
third  Monday  of  November,  A.D.  1808,  Oliver  King  was  made 
Moderator  in  said  meeting: 

Oliver  King  was  chosen  Town  Clerk  for  the  ensuing  year. 

Oliver  King  was  chosen  Town  Treasurer  for  the  year  ensuing. 

Cornelius  Roberts,  Oliver  Hunt  and  Lemuel  King  were  chosen 
selectmen  for  the  year  ensuing. 

Constables — Francis  McLean  to  collect  the  state  tax;  Ebenezer 
Kellogg,  Jr. 

Grand  Jurors — Alexander  McLean  and  Elijah  Skinner,  Jr. 

Lifters — Scottoway  Hinkley  and  Ebenezer  Kellogg,  Jr. 

Tything — John  Chapman  and  Thomas  W.  Kellogg. 

Surveyors  of  Highway — Ebenezer  Chapman,  Jameson  Cheese- 
brough  and  Alvan  Talcott. 

Haywards — Elijah  Skinner,  Jr.,  Eli  Hammond. 

Pound  Keeper — Cornelius  Roberts. 

Fence  Viewers — Irad  Fuller  and  Solomon  Perrin. 

Voted — A  Tax  of  one  cent  on  a  dollar  on  the  last  August  list  to 
defray  Town  charges. 

Voted — That  swine  have  liberty  to  run  at  large  with  a  ring  in 
their  nose. 

Voted — That  the  Selectmen  divide  the  districts  and  assess  the 
labor  on  the  Highways. 

Voted — That  a  warning  put  on  the  sign  post  in  the  Town  at 
least  six  days  previous  by  the  proper  Authority  be  legal  warning 
for  a  Town  Meeting. 

Voted — That  the  Selectmen  meet  with  and  settle  accounts  with 
the  Selectmen  of  the  Town  of  Bolton. 

Voted — That  this  meeting  be  adjourned  to  be  opened  imme- 
diately after  the  Freemen's  Meeting  in  April  next. 

Test:  Oliver  King,  Town  Clerk. 


Two  years   later   a   similar   meeting   transacted   the   following 
December  3,  1810 

Voted  that  swine  have  liberty  to  run  at  large  on  the  highways 
and  commons  with  a  ring  in  the  nose. 

Voted  that  the  places  for  setting  up  warnings  for  Town  meet- 
ings in  future  shall  be  as  follows,  viz.  one  on  the  sign  post — one 
on  a  post  near  Caleb  Parsons'  House,  one  on  or  near  the  house  of 
Lemuel  King — one  on  or  near  the  schoolhouse  in  the  southeast 
district — one  on  a  post  at  the  parting  of  the  roads  north  of  Jona- 
than Smith's  house  and  one  on  a  post  near  the  schoolhouse  in  the 
southwest  district. 

Voted  that  no  horse  or  horse-kind,  mule  or  mules  shall  be  al- 
lowed to  go  at  large  upon  the  highways  or  commons  in  said  Town 
from  and  after  first  day  of  April  next. 

That  no  goose  or  geese  shall  be  suffered  to  go  at  large  on  the 
highways  or  commons  in  said  Town. 



The  Town  of  Bolton  was  incorporated  in  the  year  1720,  and  on 
March  27,  1721,  the  first  meeting  was  held  to  plan  for  the  erection 
of  a  Meeting  House.  The  committee  appointed  to  secure  a  min- 
ister learned  that  the  already  famous  Jonathan  Edwards,  tutoring 
at  Yale,  was  preaching  on  Sundays  to  a  Presbyterian  congregation 
in  New  York  City,  and  early  in  the  year  1723  called  him  to  the 
Bolton  Church.  This  call  was  renewed  in  November  of  that  same 
year,  and  Rev.  Jonathan  Edwards  accepted  the  call.  But  Dexter, 
in  his  "Yale  Biographies,"  states  that  "from  some  unexplained  rea- 
son, the  arrangement  was  not  carried  out."  That  must  have  been 
a  disappointment  to  the  small  Bolton  Society. 

However,  in  the  year  1725,  Rev.  Thomas  White  was  called, 
and  for  the  long  period  of  thirtv-five  years  served  as  a  faithful 


In  October,  1760,  the  General  Assembly  of  Connecticut  granted 
to  a  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  north  part  of  Bolton,  and  the 
east  part  of  the  Second  Society  of  Windsor,  a  petition  to  be  made 
a  distinct  Ecclesiastical  Society,  with  certain  bounds  and  limits  and 
named  North  Bolton. 

On  November  4,  1760,  John  Dart  of  North  Bolton,  constable, 
commanded  to  warn  a  Society  Meeting,  to  be  held  at  the  dwelling 
house  of  David  Allis  on  Wednesday,  November  12th  at  1  P.M. 

Per  Thomas  Pitkin,  Just.  Peace. 

On  November  12,  1760,  First  Meeting  of  the  Society,  Isaac 
Jones,  Moderator.  John  Chapman  chosen  clerk  and  treasurer. 
Titus  Olcott,  Moses  Thrall  and  Aaron  Strong,  Society  Committee: 
"Voted  that  the  present  Committee  shall  invite  Mr.  Bulkley  Olcott 
to  preach  with  us  upon  probation."  Voted  to  hold  the  Sabbath 
Day  meeting  at  David  Allis'  dwelling  house  till  1st  May  next. 

November  28,  1760,  voted  to  build  a  meeting  house,  to  be 
50  x  40  ft.  with  24  ft.  posts.  "Voted  to  bord  with  oak  bords  on 
the  studs,  all  round  sd.  meetine;  house,  and  to  clabbord  with  oak 
clabbords."     Voted  to  send  to  Mr.  Trasse,  of  Norwich,  to  preach 




Opened  for  Divine  Worship  June  20,  1762 

with  sd.  Society  a  few  Sabbaths.  The  Society  Committee  to  pro- 
cure preaching  for  the  year  ensuing. 

Voted  "to  send  for  ye  County  Surveiar  to  settle  ye  line  between 
North  Bolton  and  Elinton  Society,  and  also  to  plan  and  find  a 
Senter  for  North  Bolton  Society." 

January  27,  1761 — Voted  to  apply  to  the  County  Court  for  a 
Committee  to  affix  a  place  to  build  a  Meeting  House.  Mr.  Buckley 
Olcott  again  invited. 

March  10,  1761 — Voted  to  apply  to  the  County  Court  for  an- 
other committee  to  affix  a  place  to  build  a  Meeting  House.  Voted 
to  meet  at  David  Allis'  house  this  summer  season. 

September  23,  1761 — Voted  to  apply  to  the  General  Assembly 
for  a  Committee  to  affix  a  place  to  build. 

November  16,  1761 — "Voted  to  hire  a  candidate  to  preach  the 
Gospel  to  us  ye  year  insewing."  Voted  to  meet  at  David  Allis' 
until  further  notice.     (Annual  Meeting) 

December  31,  1761 — Voted  sd.  meeting  house  to  be  46  x  36  ft. 
with  22  ft.  posts.  John  Chapman,  David  Allis,  and  Seth  King  ap- 
pointed building  committee. 


March  10,  1762 — Voted  to  send  to  ye  Association  for  advice 
in  order  for  calling  a  candidate  upon  probation.  A  committee 
appointed  to  apply  to  the  heirs  of  Samuel  Bartlett  for  a  building 
lot  of  half  an  acre.  Voted  to  shingle  sd.  meeting  house  with  chest- 
nut shingles. 

The  site  chosen  was  at  the  crossing  of  the  highways,  long  since 
discontinued,  and  is  now  marked  by  a  white  wooden  post  four 
feet  high  and  four  inches  in  diameter  on  the  south  side  of  the 
highway,  in  the  rear  of  the  home  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  Marcham, 
one-half  mile  east  of  the  present  meeting  house. 

March  29,  1762 — Voted  to  call  Mr.  Ebenezer  Kellogg  upon 
probation  in  order  for  settlement. 

May  6,  1762 — Meeting  House  raised. 

June  20,  1762 — First  met  in  the  Meeting  House  for  divine 

July  1,  1762 — Voted  to  call  Mr.  Ebenezer  Kellogg  to  settle  in 
ye  work  of  ye  ministry  in  sd.  Society.  Voted  to  give  him  £55  the 
first  year  and  so  to  rise  by  £l  yearly  to  £65.  Also,  £100  settlement 
at  the  end  of  one  year  after  his  ordination,  and  £50  at  the  end  of 
the  next  year. 

September  9,  1762 — Salary  voted,  £60  to  increase  £l  yearly 
till  it  reaches  £70. 

(The  above  meeting  was  held  at  the  Meeting  House.) 

October  7,  1762 — Voted  to  accept  Mr.  Ebenezer  Kellogg's  an- 
swer dated  October  7,  1762. 

November  22,  1762 — Society  Meeting  held  at  the  Meeting 
House  ( Annual  Meeting ) . 

December  13,  1764 — Voted  to  accept  the  Meeting  House  Com- 
mittee account  for  building  the  meeting  house. 

Voted  to  allow  the  whole  of  the  rate  that  was  made  upon 
Samuel  Bartlett's  Estate,  late  of  Bolton,  deceased,  for  defraying  the 
charges  of  building  the  Meeting  House,  and  also  half  the  rate  that 
David  Smith,  Collector,  had  against  said  estate,  for  half  an  acre 
of  land  given  from  the  heirs  by  deed  to  the  Society,  to  build  the 
meeting  house  upon. 

December  12,  1768 — Voted  the  Committee  to  provide  a  lock 
and  key  and  bolts  to  fasten  up  the  meeting  house.  The  Meeting 
House  was  not  furnished  with  pews  till  1770  nor  plastered  till  1774. 

Reverend  Ebenezer  Kellogg  was  born  in  Norwalk,  Connecti- 
cut, April  5,  1737,  graduated  from  Yale  College  in  1757,  studied 


theology  under  the  Rev.  David  Judson  of  Newton,  Conneetieut,  and 
was  licensed  to  preach  May  28,  1760.  He  did  not  make  a  public 
profession  of  religion  until  he  was  twenty-one  years  of  age.  Affec- 
tionately known  as  "Priest"  Kellogg,  a  scion  of  that  sturdy  stock 
which  has  given  many  distinguished  men  to  the  country,  strong 
physically  and  mentally,  he  held  his  people  with  a  vigorous  hand 
and  a  lucid  mind.  A  Puritan  himself,  he  persuaded  his  people 
to  become  Puritans  also. 

The  Lord's  Day  began  according  to  the  Hebrew  manner  at 
sunset  Saturday  night,  because  "the  evening  and  the  morning  were 
the  first  day"  and  ended  Sunday  at  sunset.  And  woe  to  the  luck- 
less new  comer  who  drove  out  of  the  village  after  sundown  Satur- 
day night  or  drove  into  it  before  sunset  Sabbath  evening.  Before 
sunset  Saturday  night  the  mill  was  stopped  and  every  room  was 
cleared  by  busy  workers.  And  on  Sabbath  evening  busy  cloth 
packers  prepared  an  invoice  of  goods  for  the  early  Monday  morn- 
ing team,  market-bound.  For  the  young  people  Sunday  evening 
was  courting  time. 

The  saintly  Ebenezer  Kellogg  always  read  his  lengthy  ser- 
mons. They  were  serious  discourses,  carefully  setting  forth  the 
most  important  doctrines  and  duties  of  religion.  The  theology  of 
the  First  Church  was  stern  in  theory  and  strict  in  practice.  There 
were  seasons  of  uncommon  spiritual  awakening  and  influence  in 
the  years  1772,  1782,  1800,  1809,  1815.  The  children  respected 
him,  and  many  called  him  "father." 

On  the  completion  of  fifty  years  of  faithful  service  he  gave  an 
historical  address,  but  not  one  of  the  original  members  of  the 
church  was  present  to  hear  the  discourse,  due  to  death  and  removal 
from  the  parish.  Like  a  heavenly  benediction  upon  his  work  were 
his  own  words  on  the  occasion  of  the  fifty-fifth  anniversarv  of  his 
ordination : 

"Time  in  its  nature  is  fleeting.  It  bears  all  the  living 
along  with  it.  As  to  myself,  the  time  of  my  departure  is 
near  at  hand.  And  in  view  of  the  prospect  of  that  solemn 
day,  I  am  supported  with  a  believing  hope  that  I  trust  in 
my  all-sufficient  Savior,  and  that  I  have  not  labored  alto- 
gether in  vain  among  you." 

Less  than  four  months  before  his  death  he  recorded  with  his  own 
hand  the  last  admission  to  the  church  during  his  lifetime.  Anno 
Domini,  1817,  Eliza,  wife  of  his  grandson,  George  Kellogg,  recom- 


mended  by  Rev.  E.  Cook  of  Orford,  (now  Manchester.) 

Ebenezer  Kellogg  died  at  the  age  of  81  years,  and  was  buried 
in  the  ancient  burying  ground,  half  a  mile  east  of  the  first  meet- 
ing house,  an  acre  consecrated  for  the  burial  of  the  dead.  It  was 
laid  out  many  years  before  the  house  was  erected.  Here  is  the 
inscription  on  the  stone  erected  in  his  honor: 

Rev.  Ebenezer  Kellogg,  died 
Sept.  3rd,  1817,  in  the  81st  year 
Of  his  age,  and  55th  year 
Of  his  ministry  in  this  place. 

"In  yonder  sacred  meeting  house  he  spent  his  breath, 
Now  silent,  senseless,  here  he  sleeps  in  death. 
These  lips  again  shall  wake  and  then  declare 
A  Long  amen  to  truths  they  published  there." 

The  early  interest  of  the  Society  in  singing  and  singing  schools 
is  remarkable.  On  November  16,  1761,  two  choristers  were  chosen; 
On  November  21,  1799,  $45  was  voted  for  the  support  of  singing 
in  public  worship;  On  January  28,  1818,  Reuel  Thrall  was  employed 
by  the  Society  Committee  to  assist  the  singers  for  not  more  than 
ten  days  before  Mr.  Ely's  ordination;  and  on  May  31,  1824,  it  was 
voted  to  start  a  subscription  for  money  to  procure  Mr.  Brace  to 
prepare  the  singers  for  Mr.  Benedict's  installation. 

John  Cady  was  first  chorister  for  thirty  years  before  the  year 
1820.  He  owned  a  violin  which  is  still  in  existence.  Reuben 
Skinner  and  John  Skinner,  Jr.,  followed  Cady. 


The  second  pastor  of  the  historic  church  was  Rev.  William 
Ely,  of  Saybrook,  Connecticut.  He  was  ordained  March  11,  1818, 
and  was  dismissed  February  21,  1822.  He  established  the  Sabbath 
School  in  May  of  that  year,  one  of  the  earliest  in  Tolland  County. 

The  Rev.  Amzi  Benedict  was  installed  June  30,  1824,  and  dur- 
ing his  ministry  of  six  years  the  church  at  Vernon  was  erected. 

The  subscribers  at  the  request  of  the  committee  of  the 
Society  met  December  14,  1824,  at  Mr.  Collins'  Inn  on  the 
subject  of  fixing  on  a  place  for  erecting  a  Meeting  House, 
and  finally  determined  and  fixed  upon  a  spot  on  which 
said  meeting  house  may  be  erected,  being  on  land  of 
Francis  McLean,  Esq.,  on  the  west  side  of  the  Hartford 



Dedicated  April  4,  1827 


Turnpike  Road  between  his  dwelling  house  and  die  black- 
smith's shop  of  Capt.  Roberts  about  six  rods  west  of  said 
turnpike  road,  and  between  the  second  and  thud  rows  of 
apple  trees  from  the  south  side  of  a  young  orchard,  haying 
stuck  a  stake  on  said  spot. 

Samuel  Pitkin, 
Elisha  Stearns, 
John  Hall,  Committee. 
Vernon,  December  14,  1824. 

The  Society  proceeded  with  due  deliberation  to  make  arrange- 
ments for  building,  and  adopted  "Articles  of  Agreement"  for  a 
subscription  for  raising  the  necessary  funds,  subscriptions  not  to 
be  binding  unless  $6,000  should  be  subscribed  by  the  first  of  May, 
1826.  The  church  was  erected  in  1826,  and  the  builders  were 
Messrs.  YVhitmarsh  &  Shepard,  Springfield,  Massachusetts. 

The  house  was  dedicated  April  4,  1827.  We  found  an  old  copy 
of  the  order  of  services: 

Invocation  and  Reading  the  Scriptures 

Chorus  by  the  Choir — "O  Praise  God" 

Dedicatory  Prayer — Rev.  Amzi  Benedict 

Singing  by  the  Congregation — "Old  Hundredth" 

Chorus — "One  Thins;  Have  I  Desired" 

Sermon  by  the  Pastor — Genesis  XXVIII,  17,  "This  is 

none  other  but  the  house  of  God,  and  this  is  the 

gate  of  heaven" 
Chorus — "I  was  Glad  when  they  said  unto  me" 
Concluding  Prayer 
Benediction  bv  the  Pastor 

The  music  was  under  the  direction  of  Mr.  Salmon  Phelps,  of 
East  Hartford,  who  had  instructed  the  members  during  the  pre- 
ceding winter.  It  is  said  that  the  Dedicatory  Prayer  by  Rev.  Amzi 
Benedict  was  long  remembered  as  being  peculiarly  solemn  and 
impressive,  "as  if  he  were  talking  face  to  face  with  God." 

According  to  Rev.  Increase  N.  Tarbox,  then  a  juvenile  resident 
of  Vernon,  and  later  a  famous  Doctor  of  Divinity,  "two  or  three 
days  were  occupied  with  the  raising."  At  a  centennial  celebration 
of  Tolland  County,  July  4,  1876,  Dr.  Tarbox  referred  to  the  Dedi- 
cation of  Vernon  in  1827  in  poetic  form: 


"The  speaker  pauses  here  to  state 

That  in  his  humble  way 
He  helped  to  raise  the  meeting  house 

Which  Vernon  has  today; 
He  helped  by  sipping  at  the  punch, 

Which  flowed  in  large  supplies, 
By  tossing  pins  for  men  to  catch, 

And  eating  of  the  pies." 

The  day  following  the  dedication  all  the  pews,  excepting  those 
reserved,  were  sold  for  $7,700,  exceeding  by  $700  the  total  cost 
of  the  building. 

The  pews  and  slips  were  sold,  and  held  as  the  individual 
property  of  the  owners,  till  about  1850,  when  most  of  the  pew 
holders  relinquished  their  rights  in  favor  of  the  Ecclesiastical  So- 
ciety. A  few  slips  were  bought  by  the  Society,  and  a  few  remained 
as  individual  property. 

The  Rev.  Chester  Humphrey  was  ordained  October  4,  1832. 
He  died  on  April  18,  1843,  at  the  age  of  forty  years.  The  Rev. 
Albert  Smith  was  installed  on  May  21,  1845. 

In  1851,  preliminary  to  a  thorough  remodeling  of  the  build- 
ing, the  structure  was  moved  nearly  its  length  back  from  the  turn- 
pike road  and  about  its  width  away  from  the  highway  on  the 
northeast  side.  A  portion  was  added  and  the  symmetrical  spire, 
so  long  a  pleasant  landmark  for  miles  around,  with  its  white  finger 
pointing  heavenward,  but  recently  found  needful  to  sacrifice  for 
safety  of  life  and  property,  was  removed.  The  church  was  re- 
dedicated  about  the  first  of  September,  1852.  The  sermon  was 
preached  by  Rev.  Albert  Smith,  D.D.,  pastor  of  the  church  at 
that  time. 

The  Centennial  celebration  of  the  erection  of  the  Meeting 
House  was  observed  on  September  the  25th  and  26th,  1926.  On 
Saturday,  the  25th,  there  was  a  Pilgrimage  to  the  Old  Cemeterv 
and  site  of  the  First  Meeting  House;  an  organ  recital  by  Dr.  Wil- 
liam Churchill  Hammond,  a  native  of  Rockville,  a  Banquet  Sup- 
per, and  a  Concert  by  Manchester  Salvation  Army  Band. 

On  Sunday,  September  26,  addresses  were  given  at  the  morn- 
ing service  by  Senator  Hiram  Bingham,  Secretary  D.  Brewer  Eddv. 
D.D.,  and  Dr.  Rockwell  Harmon  Potter.  Greetings  were  brought 
by  Miss  Elizabeth  Hammond,  of  Guatemala,  representing  the  mis- 
sionary line  of  the  church;  Greetings  from  His  Excellency,  Gov- 


ernor  John  H.  Trumbull,  and  Dr.  Arthur  H.  Smith,  who  was  born 
in  the  parsonage  and  became  a  missionary  in  China  and  an  author 
of  note  and  authority.  In  the  afternoon  an  Historical  address  was 
given  by  Dr.  Sherrod  Soule,  and  at  7  p.m.  eight  churches  partici- 
pated with  brief  reminiscent  remarks. 

The  records  show  that  the  salary  of  the 

Rev.  William  Ely  was  $600 

Rev.  Amzi  Benedict  $500 

Rev.  Chester  Humphrey  $500 

Rev.  Albert  Smith,  D.D.  $600 

Rev.  Mark  Tucker,  D.D.  $700 

The  175th  anniversary  of  the  First  Congregational  Church  of 
Vernon  was  observed  October  8-10,  1937.  Historical  papers  were 
presented  on  Grandmother  Bolton,  born  1725,  by  Samuel  Alvord; 
Mother  Vernon,  born  1762,  by  Oliver  Driggs;  Granddaughter 
Rockville,  born  1837,  Mrs.  Walter  H.  Skinner;  Granddaughter 
Vernon  Methodist  born  1852,  Mrs.  W.  J.  Stephens;  Granddaughter 
Talcottville,  born  1867,  John  G.  Talcott. 

There  were  greetings  from  former  pastors  and  an  historical 
address  by  Dr.  Sherrod  Soule,  Hartford,  Connecticut. 

The  hurricane  of  1938  blew  away  the  steeple  of  the  Vernon 
Church.  The  congregation  was  distressed.  Then  unexpectedly 
word  came  from  Allyn  and  Robert  Ford,  of  Minneapolis,  that  they 
were  interested  in  providing  a  memorial  to  their  father  and  mother, 
who  had  lived  in  Vernon,  and  had  been  married  there  in  1860. 

Mr.  Wm.  Brazer,  of  New  York  City,  an  authority  on  Colonial 
architecture  and  a  brother-in-law  of  Mr.  Ford,  came  up  at  their 
request,  looked  over  the  situation,  drew  plans,  and  secured  bids. 
And  a  new  steeple  was  dedicated  as  a  memorial  to  Luther  Ford, 
who  joined  this  church  in  1867  with  his  wife,  Sara  Carpenter  Ford. 
They  were  married  here  and  were  active  in  the  work  of  the  church 
until  they  moved  to  Minneapolis. 

During  the  years  that  have  followed  since  the  ending  of  World 
War  II  a  great  change  has  taken  place  in  the  environs  of  the  old 
Mother  Church  in  Vernon  Center.  In  1903,  at  the  conclusion  of  a 
"Manual  of  the  First  Congregational  Church"  there  appear  the  fol- 
lowing words: 

And  now  after  the  noble  record  of  the  past,  the  fate 
of  so  many  of  the  hill  town  churches,  from  causes  that  are 
inevitable,  has  fallen  upon  the  old  mother  church,  that  of 


a  contracted  parish,  greatly  lessened  constituency  and 
meagre  material  resources.  .  .  .  The  service  of  the  remain- 
ing few,  is  often  heroic,  in  its  self-sacrificing  fidelity;  and 
soul-saving  endeavor  freshens  its  strength,  by  contact  with 
His  life,  who  has  said  "I  am  with  you  always  even  unto 
the  end." 

With  the  growth  away  from  Vernon  Center,  and  with  the 
weakness  of  what  had  once  been  a  mighty  Church,  there  is  no 
difficulty  in  understanding  that  the  few  who  remained  in  the  area 
felt  this  was  "the  end,"  the  end  of  a  mighty  histoiy  in  an  area 
where  the  Church  had  done  its  task. 

But  recent  history  was  and  is  to  prove  otherwise.  With  the 
steady  flow  of  population  out  from  the  city  environs  of  Hartford, 
with  the  great  influx  of  employment  in  the  East  Hartford  area, 
and  with  the  completion  of  an  excellent  four  lane  highway  through 
Vernon  to  Hartford,  and  the  Charter  Oak  Bridge,  a  high  priority 
has  been  placed  upon  life  in  these  rural  areas.  This  has  meant  that 
since  the  War  the  area  which  is  served  by  "the  old  Mother  Church" 
has  become  to  a  great  extent  a  suburb  to  the  Greater  Hartford  area. 
Hundreds  of  folks  have  moved  out  of  the  noise  of  city  into  the 
quiet  of  Vernon,  building  their  homes  along  the  roads  in  the  vil- 
lage or  in  more  instances  locating  in  one  of  the  many  building 
developments  in  the  area. 

The  obvious  result  of  this  situation  has  been  the  absorption 
of  new  life  into  town  and  Church,  quite  reversing  the  judgment  of 
doom  laid  down  by  the  unknown  author  of  the  manual  quoted 
above.  The  Church  has  turned  a  long  corner.  Under  the  pastorate 
of  Mr.  Griswold  the  Church  reached  forward  to  some  of  the  glory 
and  strength  of  former  days,  and  with  the  growth  which  con- 
tinues at  an  increasing  rate,  it  would  seem  that  this  should  con- 
tinue to  be  the  case.  Great  was  the  faith  and  courage  of  the  few 
who  carried  on  in  seeming  sight  of  "the  end."  But  the  end  has 
not  come,  and  it  has  rather  proved  to  be  "the  beginning,"  the  be- 
ginning of  a  new  era  in  the  history  of  "the  old  mother  Church" 
which  was  the  cradle  of  our  Town  of  Vernon. 

Sufficiently  great  is  this  "new  beginning"  that  it  has  proved 
necessary  for  the  Church  to  embark  upon  an  expansion  program. 
The  great  huge  meeting  house  so  long  considered  a  white  elephant 
far  beyond  the  needs  of  the  dwindled  parish  is  now  thoroughlv 
inadequate,  in  particular  for  the  Church  School  which  cannot  be 
accommodated  in   the  present  facilities.     Preliminary   plans  have 



been  laid  down  and  approved  for  the  erection  of  a  Parish  House 
which  will  serve  primarily  for  the  Christian  training  of  the  youth 
of  the  Church. 



Ebenezer  Kellogg 



William  Ely 



Amzi  Benedict 



David  L.  Hunt 



Chester  Humphrey 



Albert  Smith,  D.D. 



Mark  Tucker,  D.D. 



Isaac  Brush 



Reuben  Stafford  Kendall 



Amos  Sheffield  Cheesebrough,  D.D. 



Samuel  G.  W.  Rankin 



Bela  N.  Seymour 



Nathan  Gibbs  Axtell 



Wilder  Smith 



Andrew  Mclntyre 



Samuel  Forbes 



Luther  Humphrey  Barber 



N.  M.  Larned 



Homer  T.  Beach 



Frederick  Alvord 



W.  W.  Davidson 



A.  Ferdinand  Travis 



William  H.  Teel 



C.  R.  Small 



Nelson  H.  Wehrhan 



J.  C.  Willard 



A.  A.  Marquadt 



W.  O.  Shewmaker 



H.  C.  Beebe 



H.  C.  McKnight 



C.  E.  Crawford 



H.  C.  Mayhew 



Milton  Davis 



Edward  Eells 



Allan  Gates 



W.  F.  Tyler 



Sterling  White 



Norman  Weed 



William  Booth 



Woodbury  Stowell 



Brendon  Griswold 



George  B.  Higgins 



The  history  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  is  the  story  of  Cascades 
and  Courage.  Aided  by  these  pages  we  turn  back  the  dial  of  time 
and  learn  of  the  group  of  men  who  in  wisdom  laid  their  plans, 
overcame  many  obstacles,  and  brought  the  town  conspicuous  suc- 
cess. A  number  of  intelligent,  persevering,  far-seeing  men,  who 
worked  with  stout  hearts,  and  by  their  earnest  purpose  laid  the 
foundation  of  prosperity  for  the  town  and  city,  came  from  far 
and  near.  They  had  no  secret  formula  for  swift  success.  Only 
by  a  painstaking  self-denial  and  the  exercise  of  great  sagacity  did 
they  attain  success.  They  had  the  spirit  of  the  frontiersmen  and 

The  early  years  of  the  Town  unfold  the  story  of  the  courage 
unlimited  of  the  Kings,  the  Grants,  the  McLeans,  the  Dobsons, 
John  Warburton,  and  the  Talcotts. 

The  King  family  were  extensive  land  owners,  possessing  most 
of  the  Tankeroosen  Valley.  Through  the  courtesy  of  members  of 
the  King  family,  we  are  able  to  quote  from  copies  of  important 
family  papers.  One  of  these  is  an  instructive  letter  from  Hezekiah 
King  to  his  son  Hezekiah,  concerning  the  coming  of  his  grand- 
father, Captain  Hezekiah  King,  to  Bolton  and  Vernon  about  the 
year  1750. 

My  Dear  Son: 

Agreeable  to  your  request  I  write  what  little  I  know  of  my 
ancestral  relations,  remembering  that  what  I  have  recorded  beyond 
my  Grandfather  is  tradition. 

Our  ancestors  originally  came  from  England  and  settled  in 
region  of  Portsmouth,  New  Hampshire.  My  great-grandfather  re- 
moved from  there  when  a  young  man  to  the  southern  part  of  Mas- 
sachusetts bordering  on  Rhode  Island.  My  grandfather,  whose 
name  was  Hezekiah  King,  when  about  20  years  of  age,  emigrated 
west  into  an  almost  unsettled  country  and  located  in  what  was 
known  as  the  unsettled  land  of  Connecticut.  By  the  Colonial  Laws 
anyone  could  take  up  one  thousand  acres  by  paying  the  surveyor 
and  Recorder  their  fees  amounting,  I  think,  to  ten  pounds.  On  this 
tract  of  land  of  1000  acres  my  grandfather  built  a  cabin,  cleared 
up  some  few  acres  and  returned  to  his  father's  to  spend  the  winter, 
returning  the  second  summer  with  some  additional  force,  he  started 



his  farming  operations  by  sowing  wheat,  perfecting  his  cabin,  and 
the  2d  spring  he  came  on  with  a  wife  and  remained  permanently. 
The  Log  Cabin  in  which  he  lived  the  first  few  years  was  about 
14  of  a  mile  east  from  where  I  was  born.  What  we  know  now  as 
the  Old  Homestead  was  built  by  my  grandfather,  but  greatly  en- 
larged by  my  father.  My  grandfather  was  twice  married.  My 
father  was  a  son  of  the  2d  marriage  and  his  name  was  Lemuel. 
There  were  four  children  by  the  first  marriage  and  five  by  the 
last,  three  sons  and  one  daughter  by  the  first  (the  eldest  son  was 
named  Hezekiah)  three  sons  and  two  daughters  by  the  last.  The 
names  of  my  father's  brothers  and  sisters  were  Samuel,  Else,  Lem- 
uel, Clarissa  and  William.  The  place  is  now  Vernon.  When  first 
organized  it  was  called  North  Bolton;  in  other  words,  it  was  a  town 
without  a  name,  and  attached  to  Bolton  for  Legislative  and  Judi- 
cial purposes.  From  conversation  with  my  father  I  should  infer 
my  grandfather  was  a  man  of  more  than  ordinary  note  and  influ- 
ence in  the  community,  was  a  Magistrate  and  what  at  that  time 
was  considered  a  high  honor,  was  Captain  of  the  Militia  Co.  On 
his  tombstone  is  "Capt.  Hezekiah  King,"  his  age  and  the  year  of  his 
death.  I  once  went  to  his  grave  in  company  with  my  father,  re- 
member well  the  circumstance,  although  a  boy  of  perhaps  12  or  15 
years.  It  was  in  the  old  cemetery  which  has  been  abandoned  I 
suppose  for  40  years.  My  grandfather  died  a  few  years  preceding 
the  Revolutionary  War.  My  father  was  in  the  Army  at  the  time 
the  British  had  possession  of  New  York,  and  at  the  time  the  Amer- 
ican Army  were  encamped  at  Horse  Neck  and  that  vicinity  was 
wounded  in  one  of  the  many  midnight  attacks  that  were  constantly 
going  on  from  marauding  parties  of  the  British  Army  who  were 
out  plundering  the  neighborhood  and  intercepting  supplies  for  the 
American  Army.  My  father  was  at  Horseneck  at  the  time  Putnam 
rode  down  the  steps  that  you  have  heard  so  often  of.  His  wounds 
were  of  a  serious  nature.  He  lay  in  the  hospital  for  six  months  at 
Horseneck,  was  then  brought  home  to  his  mother's  and  was  three 
years  from  the  time  he  was  wounded  before  he  was  able  to  bear 
his  weight,  and  you  I  presume  recollect  he  lost  the  use  of  the 
knee  joint,  or  in  other  words  he  had  a  stiff  knee.  My  grand- 
mother's maiden  name  was  Thrall.  She  lived  many  years  after  my 
grandfather's  death.  My  father  retained  the  Old  Homestead,  and 
my  grandmother  lived  and  died  at  an  advanced  age  a  member  of 
his  family.  My  mother's  maiden  name  was  Bronson.  Her  ances- 
tors were  what  are  generally  known  as  Scotch  Irish.  They  settled 
originally  at  a  place  in  New  Hampshire  which  the  Emigrants  in 


respect  to  name  of  the  place  they  came  from  called  Londonderry. 
Her  parents  emigrated  west  and  settled  in  the  same  township  of 
my  father.  Her  family  relations  were  mostly  in  and  around  Lon- 
donderry. They  used  once  in  a  great  while  visit  at  my  father's,  but 
I  never  knew  much  of  them.  So  far  as  I  recollect  they  were  highly 
respectable  people. 

Hezekiah  King. 

The  original  grant  of  1,000  acres  was  turned  into  a  tremendous 
estate.  By  the  time  Lemuel  King  died  in  1827,  the  family  owned 
all  the  land  lying  between  Mile  Hill  Road  and  Tolland  Road;  the 
land  from  East  Street  down  to  the  Minterburn  Mill,  besides  a  12- 
acre  woodlot.  On  the  land  from  East  Street  to  the  Minterburn 
Mill  was  the  farm  house  in  which  Lemuel  King  lived  on  his  return 
from  the  Revolutionary  War.  Previously,  it  had  been  owned  by 
a  Mr.  Rich.  In  1821  and  1822,  Lemuel  built  upon  the  same  site 
what  is  now  the  Town  Farm  as  a  gift  to  his  son,  Hezekiah,  on  his 
21st  birthday.  This  was  the  building  in  which  Lafayette  was  later 
entertained.  Across  the  street  from  this  farm  house,  which  had 
become  the  King  Tavern,  on  the  turnpike,  was  the  Waffle  Tavern 
which  still  stands,  dating  back  to  1700. 

Painted  on  a  beam  in  the  attic  of  the  ell  part  of  the  building 
may  be  seen  carved  the  figures  1700.  The  tavern  was  turned 
around  in  1800.  The  original  building  stood  north  and  south,  now 
it  faces  east  and  west.  The  stone  steps  on  the  south  side  bear  the 
date  of  the  change,  1800. 

The  large  wooden  sign,  6  ft.  2  in.  in  height,  5  ft.  1  in.  in  width, 
which  used  to  greet  guests  at  the  old  King  Stage  House  is  still 
preserved.  It  is  much  unlike  the  signs  of  the  present  day.  The 
colors  are  gay  and  gorgeous,  and  there  is  considerable  gold  leaf 
on  the  sign.  On  it  is  painted  in  the  center,  the  Connecticut  Coat  of 
Arms  or  State  Seal.  The  sign  painter's  name  appears  at  the  foot 
of  the  sign — a  Mr.  Rice.  In  gilt  letters  are  the  words  "Vernon 
Hotel"  and  above  the  date — 1834 — 10  years  after  Lafayette's  visit. 
Miss  J.  Alice  Maxwell  had  it  redecorated.  The  sign  has  been 
moved  from  the  Town  Farm  to  the  High  School,  to  the  Public 
Library,  and  now  to  the  premises  of  Donald  Fisk,  Esq. 

Line  of  descendant  of  Lemuel  King;  also  of  his  great  grand- 
son, Landreth  Hezekiah  King,  who  delivered  the  address  on 
behalf  of  his  family  at  the  Lafayette  celebration  at  Vernon,  Conn., 
in  1902. 


John  King  settled  in  Weymouth  1622  (  ? ) 

children:  John  Mary 

Samuel  King  b.  Weymouth  1635 

m.  Experience  Phillips 

children:  John  Samuel 

Hezekiah    (Deacon) 
Deacon  Hezekiah  King  b.     Weymouth  1680;  lived  in  Bolton  and  Vernon; 

moved  to  Amenia,  N.  Y.,  1740  and  died  same 
year;    buried    in    Sharon,    Conn.      Deacon    of 
Sharon  Congregational  Church, 
m.  Sarah  Reid 

children:  Hezekiah,    Sarah,    Samuel, 
Esther,    Mary,    Bathsheba, 
William,  John,  Mary,  Alcee 
Captain  Hezekiah  King  b.    Weymouth  1715 

m.  Anna  Thrall  (2nd  marriage) 

children:   Samuel,   Elsie, 

Lemuel,  Clarissa,  William 
Lemuel  King  b.    Sept.  20,  1765;  d.  1827,  buried  in  Vernon,  Conn, 
m.  Jane  Bronson 

children:  Hezekiah 

Hezekiah  King  b.    April  13,  1799 

m.  Weltha  Warburton 

children:  Hezekiah     Richard     Ellen 
Edward        Mary         Alice 
Hezekiah  King  b.  Oct.  4,  1822 

m.  Rachel  Landreth 

children:  Landreth  Hezekiah 
Ella  Rodnev 
Landreth  Hezekiah  King  b.    July  28,  3  859.  d.  Dec.  16,  1944 
m.  Florence  Lord 

children:  Helen 

Ruth  Rodney 

Will  of  Lemuel  King,  dated  January  27,  1827 

Important  paragraphs  taken  from  the  records 

To  my  oldest  son,  Emery  King,  one  half  of  the  farm  that  I 

bought  of  Dr.   Carpenter,  and  on  which  he  lives,  together  with 

buildings  thereon  which  is  estimated  at  $5,500. 

I   give  to  my   son,   Hezekiah  King,  the  house  and  buildings 

where  he  now  lives,  together  with  the  lot  of  land  lying  between 

the  two  roads  leading  to  Tolland  and  Ellington  being  estimated  at 


I  give  to  my  son,   John   M.  King,  all  of  my  home  farm  and 

buildings  thereon  standing  including  the  12  acres  of  woodlot  west 

and  called  the  Skinner  lot. 

Dated  January  27th,  1827 

Signed  Lemuel  King. 


In  presence  of  Jabez  Kingsbury 
Horatio  Dow 
John  Sumner 

Certified  from  record  by  Asa  Willey  Judge 

Codicil  to  Will  of  Lemuel  King  dated  13th  of  June,  1827 

Lemuel  King  of  Vernon,  County  of  Tolland,  do  make  and  or- 
dain this  as  a  codicil  to  my  last  will  and  testament  and  do  give  to 
my  son  Hezekiah  King  right  to  take  to  himself  out  of  my  estate 
my  Stage  Property  consisting  of  12  Stage  horses  and  3  full  sets  of 
harness,  2  stage  coaches  and  one  stage  sleigh  and  my  right  in  the 
mail  wagon  for  which  he  is  to  pay  the  rest  of  my  heirs  the  sum  of 
Four  Thousand  Five  Hundred  Dollars,  in  such  a  way  as  to  enable 
my  Executors  to  settle  my  Estate. 

Dated  June  13th,  1827. 

Witnessed  by  John  Kingsbury 
Marcia  Case 
Louisa  Scripture 

Final  Accounting  of  Lemuel  King's  Estate 
Dated  June  24th,  1828 

Inventory  of  Personal  Estate  $10,881.76 

Amount  of  Cash  received  248.07 


Expense  of  settling  said  Estate  including  Funeral  $222.34 

Amount  of  Debts  paid  1,355.07 
Total  of  property  consumed  by  the  Family 

during   settlement  336.10 

Grand   Total  $1,913.51 

1.  Lorenza  Sparrow  purchased  land  and  buildings  including  tav- 

ern from  the  Hopkins  Estate. 

2.  Lorenzo  Sparrow  sold  52  acres  of  land  and  buildings  including 

Waffle  Tavern  to  George  Knowles. 

3.  Clarence  Bamforth  purchased  from  Knowles  in  1917  land  and 

buildings  including  the  Waffle  Tavern. 

4.  Joseph  Gollmitzer  present  owner  purchased  the  buildings  in- 

cluding Waffle  Tavern  and  buildings  from  Clarence  Bam- 
forth in  1951. 


A  letter  from  Hezekiah  King,  written  in  1837,  gives  some  in- 
teresting information  about  the  famous  Hall  of  Learning  in  Elling- 
ton which  he  attended: 

I  was  one  of  sixty  boys  who  were,  fifty  years  ago,  at 
Judge  Hall's  boarding  school  in  Ellington.  The  school  had 
an  extended  reputation,  pupils  coming  from  the  Western 
States,  the  Southern  States  and  some  from  South  America. 
The  principal  was  an  esteemed  influential  citizen,  the  son 
of  a  prominent  patriot  of  the  Revolution,  a  graduate  of 
Yale  College,  which  institution  favored  the  school  and 
where  many  of  the  pupils  afterward  received  their  higher 
education.  Among  my  teachers  were  Judge  Alphonso 
Taft  of  Cincinnati,  Ohio.  He  had  then  just  graduated 
from  Yale  with  first  honors.  He  became  afterwards  prom- 
inent in  Ohio  politics,  was  made  Attorney  General  of  the 
United  States  and  later  was  Minister  to  Austria.  He  has 
remembered  Yale  within  a  few  years  with  liberal  gifts. 
Dr.  Levi  Wells  Flagg  was  another  teacher.  He  became  a 
noted  physician  and  resided  at  Yonkers. 


The  name  of  Lafayette,  his  nobility  of  character  and  sublime 
patriotism,  will  ever  illumine  the  pages  of  history,  and  when  in  the 
year  of  1824  he  re-visited  America,  the  entire  nation  rose  up  to 
greet  him.  Vast  preparations  had  been  made  for  his  reception. 
Every  village  through  which  he  passed  raised  its  own  distinctive 
triumphal  arch.  Every  town  on  the  itinerary  announced  his  ap- 
proach with  the  report  of  cannon,  and  everywhere  he  was  con- 
strained to  descend  from  his  coach,  though  lame,  (it  is  thought 
from  injuries  received  in  the  battle  of  Brandy  wine, )  to  receive 
expressions  of  affection  from  the  population,  albeit  forty  years  had 
gone  by  since  he  contributed  essentially  to  the  achievement  of 
our  independence. 

This  noble  benefactor  of  America  left  Paris  on  the  11th  of 
July,  1824,  with  no  other  companions  but  his  son  and  his  secretary, 
Auguste  Levasseur.  He  arrived  at  le  Havre  the  next  day,  where 
the  Cadmus,  an  American  merchant  vessel,  had  been  waiting  for 
several  weeks.  The  guns  of  all  the  forts  and  of  all  the  warships 
in  the  harbor  were  booming  as  he  limped  down  the  line.  Old 
soldiers  hobbled  up,  halted  and  wept.  He  reached  New  York  on 
August  14.    Here  is  the  itinerary  he  followed: 

Left  New  York  August  20,  1824,  for  Boston,  via  New  Haven. 

Arrived  in  Boston  August  24,  remained  there  until  August  30. 

Tuesday,  August  31,  took  an  excursion  to  Portsmouth,  Con- 
cord, Lexington,  Salem,  and  Newburyport,  returning  to  Boston  on 
September  2. 

September  2,  proceeded  to  New  York  by  way  of  Worcester  and 

Arrived  at  Worcester  at  half-past  ten  o'clock,  September  3, 
escorted  by  troops.    Reception  at  the  house  of  Judge  Lincoln. 

Departed  from  Worcester  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 

Reached  Stafford  Springs  late  on  Friday  evening.  Stafford 
Springs  in  those  days  was  a  well-known  resort  for  invalids  and 
epicures.     Lafayette  slept  at  Stafford  Springs  House  that  night. 

Arrived  at  the  King  Tavern,  Vernon,  Saturday  morning,  Sep- 
tember 4,  at  9  o'clock. 

Reached  Hartford  about  eleven  o'clock. 

Sunday,  September  5,  entered  Long  Island  Sound  at  daybreak. 



Arrived  at  New  York  at  noon. 

Sometimes  historical  facts  are  heavily  incrusted  with  myth, 
legend  and  rumor,  and  through  a  labyrinth  of  oral  tradition  and 
conjecture  and  contradiction  the  careful  writer  has  to  find  the  way 
to  truth.  Many  are  the  stories  which  have  been  told  concerning 
the  visit  of  Lafayette  to  the  King  Tavern  in  Vernon — stories  of  the 
decorated  parlor;  hilarious  reception  and  ball;  the  embossed  invita- 
tion cards;  the  sumptuous  dinner  party;  the  instant  recognition 
of  Lemuel  King  as  a  drummer  boy  in  the  General's  Army;  the  list 
of  distinguished  guests;  the  platitudinous  perorations — all  are 
stories  of  an  exaggerated  imagination. 

Fortunately  there  is  in  the  stimulating  library  of  the  Connecti- 
cut Historical  Society,  Hartford,  a  valuable  copy  of  the  daily  diary 
of  Lafayette  kept  during  his  stay  in  this  country  in  1824,  and  a 
copy  of  "The  Journey  of  Travels  in  the  United  States,"  written  by 
his  secretary,  A.  Levasseur.  Equally  enlightening  are  the  Hart- 
ford newspapers  of  that  period,  and  the  information  preserved  by 
members  of  the  King  family  is  historically  impeccable. 

The  Times  and  Hartford  Advertiser,  Hartford,  Connecticut,  on 
Tuesday,  September  7,  1824,  had  this  paragraph: 

"Lafayette  was  met  at  the  line  of  the  State  on  Friday 
evening  ( September  3 )  by  a  deputation  from  the  city,  con- 
sisting of  Daniel  Wadsworth  and  Henry  L.  Ellsworth, 
Esqrs.,  and  having  passed  the  night  at  the  Springs  in  Staf- 
ford, he  was  the  next  morning  escorted  by  a  troop  of  horses 
to  King's  Tavern  in  Vernon,  where  he  was  received,  and 
for  the  remainder  of  the  way  escorted  by  the  first  company 
of  Horse  Guards  under  the  command  of  Major  Hart." 

Early  in  the  morning  of  Saturday,  the  4th  September,  1824, 
Lafayette  and  his  party  arrived  at  the  King's  Tavern.  It  was  a 
wet  and  rainy  day.  The  trees  were  just  thinking  of  turning  color 
and  added  charm  to  the  delightful  occasion.  The  General  was 
graciously  and  expeditiously  entertained  at  breakfast  by  the  few 
remaining  veterans  of  the  Revolutionary  War  residing  in  the  vicin- 
ity: Captain  Chapman,  Boswell  Smith,  David  Smith,  Lemuel  Rog- 
ers, Justice  Talcott,  and  Lemuel  King.  A  certain  Maria  Barber,  of 
Vernon,  who  claimed  she  was  a  waitress  at  the  old  King  Tavern, 
remembered  waiting  on  the  distinguished  guest.  The  militia,  con- 
sisting of  two  companies,  with  the  addition  of  two  heavy  cannon, 
had  waited  long  for  the  General,  and  from  sunrise  on  Friday  until 


twelve  in  the  night  the  guns  had  kept  up  their  continual  roaring. 
The  militia  remained  at  their  posts  past  midnight,  and  then  with  a 
feeling  of  great  disappointment  disbanded.  On  that  night  the 
windows  of  the  few  houses  along  the  turnpike  were  softly  illum- 
inated by  candlelight. 

Hezekiah  King,  for  whom  the  tavern  was  built  by  his  father 
Lemuel,  has  left  this  record: 

"Forty  years  after  the  day,  General  Lafayette  and  the 
few  remaining  Revolutionary  soldiers  met  in  the  parlor, 
assembled  here  by  their  old  comrade  Lemuel  King.  One 
who  was  present  with  his  sword  and  scarf  was  made  thor- 
oughly happy  by  being  at  once  recognized  as  a  former 
aide-de-camp,  and  by  having  Lafayette  throw  his  arms 
around  him,  and  having  him  exclaim — "Mon  ami,  cher 
Capitaine  Chapman." 

Lemuel  King  purchased  a  barouche  and  four  white 
horses  especially  for  this  occasion.  General  Lafayette  en- 
tered the  carriage  and  was  driven  to  the  City  Hotel,  Hart- 
ford. The  driver  was  John  M.  King  (Lemuel  King's  young- 
est son)  who  was  entrusted  with  the  responsibility  of  car- 
rying such  a  distinguished  person. 

Lemuel  King  was  personally  known  to  Lafayette  and 
it  was  for  this  reason  that  he  besought  the  General  to 
spend  the  night  at  Vernon  on  his  way  from  Boston  to  New 
York,  as  he  lived  on  the  direct  mail  route." 

The  State  House  and  Phoenix  Bank  with  other  elegant  man- 
sions in  different  parts  of  Hartford  where  preparations  had  been 
made  for  a  brilliant  display  of  fireworks,  were  disappointed  by 
the  arrival  of  a  messenger  about  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  with 
the  intelligence  that  the  General  would  sleep  in  Stafford  about 
26  miles  from  town — the  lights  were  reluctantly  extinguished  and 
the  citizens  retired  to  rest  for  the  night. 

The  sound  of  cannon  again  aroused  the  population  from  sleep 
at  dawn  of  day,  and  though  the  weather  remained  inclement,  people 
poured  into  the  city  through  every  street.  Messrs.  H.  Terry,  J.  T. 
Peters,  T.  Day,  C.  Nichols,  G.  Lyman,  H.  L.  Ellsworth,  J.  Russ, 
N.  A.  Phelps,  and  C.  Sigourney  met  General  Lafayette  at  East 
Hartford,  and  conducted  him  to  the  city.  He  arrived  at  half-past 
eleven,  amid  roaring  of  cannon,  ringing  of  bells,  and  the  cheering 
of  the  multitude. 


About  800  children  between  the  ages  of  six  and  twelve  years, 
irrepressibly  convivial,  the  girls  dressed  in  white,  and  all  wearing 
badges,  carried  this  motto:  "Nous  vous  aimons  LaFayette."  The 
Deaf  and  Dumb  Pupils  of  the  Asylum  assembled  in  the  yard  of 
the  State  House  with  awed  delight,  wearing  Badges  with  this  sig- 
nificant, tender  inscription:  "We  feel  what  our  country  expresses!" 

Doctor  Comstock  presented  to  Lafayette,  in  behalf  of  the 
children,  a  gold  medal,  having  on  one  side  a  facsimile  of  the  motto 
and  ornaments  on  their  Badges,  and  on  the  other  side  this  inscrip- 
tion: "Presented  by  the  Children  of  Hartford,  September  4,  1824." 




The  Daughters  of  the  American  Revolution,  Sabra  Trumbull 
Chapter  No.  29,  organized  with  fifteen  members  in  Rockville,  May 
15,  1895,  fulfilled  their  charter  obligation  "to  perpetuate  the  mem- 
ory of  the  men  and  women  of  the  American  Revolution"  when  on 
Thursday,  June  12,  1902,  thev  dedicated  to  the  memory  of  Lafayette 
a  small  plot  of  land  made  into  a  park  at  the  intersection  of  Grove, 
East  and  South  Streets,  just  opposite  the  famous  Vernon  Inn,  now 
the  town  farm.  The  Memorial  consists  of  a  large  native  boulder 
and  a  granite  drinking  fountain. 

Fields,  woods  and  by-ways  were  carefully  searched  for  a 
boulder  of  natural  growth,  fitting;  to  stand  as  a  symbol  of  honor 
and  gratitude  to  a  firm  friend  of  America.  This  was  found  on 
Michael  Dalv's  fann.  Nature  resisted  several  efforts  to  remove  a 
weight  of  over  twelve  tons,  but  finally  a  force  of  men  dragged  it 
from  its  primeval  home  and  placed  it  upon  hallowed  ground  where 
in  strength  and  dignity  it  still  stands.  The  huge  boulder  required 
eight  horses  to  draw  it. 

"A  boulder,  which  for  aye  shall  stand 
And  speak  to  every  passer-bv 
Of  him,  who  heard  our  country's  cry 
For  help." 

On  the  boulder  is  an  inscription  on  a  bronze  plate  written  bv 
Connecticut's  Chief  Executive,  the  Honorable  George  McLean:  "In 
Grateful  Memory  of  General  Lafayette,  whose  love  of  liberty 
brought  him  to  American  shores  to  dedicate  his  life  and  fortune 
to  the  cause  of  the  Colonies,  the  Sabra  Trumbull  Chapter  of  the 
Daughters  of  the  American  Revolution  erected  this  monument  near 
the  old  King  Tavern,  where  he  was  entertained  in  1824.'' 

Through  the  generosity  of  the  Vice-Regent,  Mrs.  Celia  W. 
Prescott,  a  granite  drinking  fountain  was  also  dedicated,  afford- 
ing to  dumb  beasts  a  luxury  whereby  they  may  quench  their  thirst 
in  silent  gratitude,  and  teaching  a  lesson  in  the  inscription,  "A 
merciful  man  will  be  merciful  to  his  beast." 

Truly  it  was  Lafayette  Day.  People  began  to  assemble  quite 
earlv  in  the  morning  to  see  the  display  of  flags,  and  buildings  dec- 
orated with  bunting  and  other  tri-colored  material.  A  procession 
preceded  the  exercises. 



A  great  grandson  of  Lafayette,  Count  Paul  Lafayette  of  France, 
who  was  in  Washington,  was  expected  at  the  celebration,  but 
found  it  impossible  to  attend. 


Invocation   Rev.  J.  H.  James 

Address  of  Welcome Mrs.  Lizzie  S.  Belding,  Chapter  Regent 

Address. Mrs.  Charles  W.  Fairbanks,  President  General  National  Society 
Introduced  by  Mrs.  Sarah  T.  Kinney,  State  Regent 

Music — "The  Star-Spangled  Banner" Hatch's  Band 

Oration — "General  Lafayette" Hon.  Charles  Phelps 

Unveiling  the  Tablet Miss  Belding  and  Miss  Heath 

Music — "Marsellaise  Hymn" Hatch's  Band 

Address — "Our  Flag" Colonel  Henry  H.  Adams 

Music Putnam  Phalanx  Band 

Presentation  of  Lafayettt  Park  to  the  City  of  Rockville 

Mrs.  Lizzie  S.  Belding 

Acceptance  in  behalf  of  the  City Mayor  W.  H.  Loomis 

Music — "America"  .  Sung  by  the  audience,  accompanied  by  Hatch's  Band 

As  a  finale  to  the  program  of  the  day,  Mrs.  Belding  gave  a 
reception  to  the  president-general,  and  a  public  lawn  party  on  her 
spacious  grounds  at  Castle  Sunset.  Chinese  lanterns  hung  from 
the  trees  and  balconies,  and  the  whole  scene  represented  a  fain- 

Mrs.  Landreth  Hezekiah  King  writes  of  the  event: 

"I  attended  the  ceremony  of  the  unveiling  of  the 
tablet  which  was  erected  as  a  memorial  bv  the  D.A.R.  to 
Lafayette  at  Vernon. 

"I  never  expect  to  feel  more  like  Rovaltv  than  I  did 
that  day  as  I  rode  in  an  open  barouche  with  my  husband's 
mother  and  father,  the  latter  reallv  beino;  the  hero  of  the 
occasion.  The  horses  wore  plumes,  and  we  were  preceded 
by  a  band,  and  there  was  much  applause  and  bowing  and 
waving  to  the  right  and  left  as  we  drove  to  the  Tavern. 
Then  my  husband  delivered  the  address." 





In  the  long  ago  milestones  served  as  guides.  They  carried 
cheer  to  weary  travelers.  They  were  more  reliable  as  to  distances 
than  the  statement  of  the  local  resident  or  the  proverbial  farmer's 

The  road  started  from  the  Court  House  in  Tolland,  passed 
through  Vernon  Center  on  to  East  Hartford,  and  to  the  Ferry,  the 
only  means  at  that  time  of  crossing  the  Connecticut  River  at  Hart- 

The  stones  of  the  turnpike  in  the  early  periods  were  not  more 
than  two  feet  high  and  two  feet  wide.  The  one  at  Vernon  Center 
is  a  splendid  specimen.  Seventy  years  ago  there  were  about  500 
stones  in  our  own  State  but  not  more  than  300  are  now  in  existence. 

Milestones  went  out  of  business  with  the  introduction  of  the 
improved  methods  of  transportation,  and  when  later  the  automobile 
came,  and  vast  reconstruction  of  highways  was  carried  on,  the  mile- 
stone lost  its  usefulness,  and  now  stands  as  a  historical  relic,  keep- 
ing a  gate  open  into  the  past. 

Seeking  to  link  the  past  with  the  present  in  reverence  and  loy- 
alty, progressive  Sabra  Trumbull  Chapter,  Daughters  of  the  Amer- 
ican Revolution,  perpetuated  one  of  these  historic  landmarks  on  a 
memorable  day — Flag  Day — June  14,  1934. 

Brief  exercises  were  held.  Speakers  on  the  occasion — Dr. 
Henry  P.  Sage,  of  New  Haven,  a  recognized  authority  on  Con- 
necticut milestones,  of  the  Connecticut  State  Highway  Department, 
Dr.  George  S.  Brookes,  pastor  of  Union  Church,  and  Harry  C. 
Smith,  a  native  of  Vernon  and  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  town's 
pioneer  families. 

The  milestone  is  set  in  a  Bane  granite  slab.  On  it  is  a  bronze 
tablet,  with  the  insignia  of  the  D.A.R.  The  tablet  bears  an  in- 
scription which  appropriately  calls  attention  to  the  milestone  and 
the  site  of  the  McLean  tavern. 

Within  a  few  feet  of  the  milestone  erected  in  1801,  seven  years 
older  than  the  town  of  Vernon,  by  the  Hartford  and  Tolland  Turn- 
pike Company,  is  the  site  on  which  stood  the  McLean  tavern,  now 
the  Tolland  County  Home.  The  old  Stage  Coach  stopped  at  this 
tavern.  The  center  of  true  neighborliness,  it  was  built  by  Alexander 
McLean  in  1793. 




The  inscription  on  the  tablet  is  as  follows: 

"Old  Milestone  erected  by  Hartford  and  Tolland  Turnpike 
Company,  1801.  Six  miles  to  Tolland  Court  House.  Mc- 
Lean tavern,  built  in  1793,  stood  on  these  grounds. 
Marker  placed  by  Sabra  Trumbull  Chapter,  D.A.R.,  June 
14,  1934. 



In  the  days  before  steam  was  applied  to  transportation,  the 
turnpike  served  as  the  great  carrier  of  men  and  goods,  and  opened 
the  Dig  world  to  many  an  obscure  village.  Indeed,  it  was  the  first 
step  in  advance  for  the  upkeep  of  roads.  As  early  as  the  year  1783, 
Levi  Pease,  in  company  with  Joseph  Sykes,  Bostonians,  established 
a  stage  line  between  Boston  and  New  York  over  the  stone-strewn 
and  crooked  roads  which  then  constituted  the  northern  route,  pass- 
ing through  Worcester,  Palmer,  Stafford  Springs,  Vernon,  and 

Josiah  Quincy  has  described  in  a  playful  manner  his  experi- 
ence by  this  route  in  1784: 

"I  set  out  from  Boston  on  the  line  of  stage  established 
by  an  enterprising  Yankee.  The  journey  took  a  week.  The 
carriage  was  old  and  shackling,  and  much  of  the  harness 
was  made  of  ropes.  One  pair  of  horses  carried  the  stage 
eighteen  miles.  We  generally  reached  our  resting  place 
for  the  night,  if  no  accident  intervened,  at  ten  o'clock,  and 
after  a  frugal  supper  went  to  bed  with  a  notice  that  we 
should  be  called  at  three  the  next  morning.  Then  whether 
it  snowed  or  rained  the  traveler  must  rise  and  make  ready 
by  the  help  of  a  horn  lantern  and  a  farthing  candle,  and 
proceed  on  his  way  over  bad  roads.  Thus  we  traveled 
eighteen  miles  a  stage,  sometimes  obliged  to  get  out  and 
help  the  coachman  lift  the  coach  out  of  a  quagmire  or  rut, 
and  arrived  at  New  York  after  a  week's  hard  traveling, 
wondering  at  the  ease  as  well  as  the  expedition  of  our 

Prior  to  1806  (the  year  the  turnpike  road  was  actually  built 
between  Boston  and  New  York)  these  stages  journeyed  over  254 
miles  of  road,  the  distance  being  reduced  by  road  improvements  to 
210  miles  by  1821.  The  cost:  Fourpence  per  mile  per  passenger — 
£3-10-0  one  way.  New  York  was  reached  by  way  of  Worcester, 
Stafford,  Vernon,  Hartford,  and  New  Haven  in  forty  hours. 

The  stage  coach  driver  soon  became  a  famous  institution 
throughout  New  England.  Muffled  in  winter  in  his  huge  grav 
woolen  scarf,  and  nestled  in  warm  robes,  he  defiantly  flung  off 
the  icy  arrows  of  the  season.     In  summer,  when  on  the  hillv  roads 





time  loitered  like  an  idle  errand  boy,  he  kept  his  passengers  in  a 
jovial  mood  with  his  colorful  and  unconventional  personality,  his 
sage  observation  and  flashes  of  wit.  Friendliness  was  his  forte  and 
honor  his  charm.l  The  notes  from  his  horn  reverberated  among  the 
hills  as  he  drew  up  to  the  tavern  where  horses  and  gossip  were 
swapped.  The  hostler  watered  the  horses,  while  the  mail  was 
shifting.     Countless  errands  were  entrusted  to  his  elastic  memory. 

In  1793  Alexander  McLean,  a  hard  working  man  of  North 
Bolton,  built  a  tavern  at  Vernon  Center,  which  was  used  for  many 
years  as  an  orphan  asylum.  All  the  stage  coaches  stopped  here.  It 
stood  on  the  site  now  occupied  by  the  Tolland  County  Home. 

Another  tavern,  or  wayside  inn,  well-known  in  the  early  days 
of  the  town  was  the  Sullivan  House  at  Dobsonville.  Social  enter- 
tainments were  often  enjoyed  there.  The  old  dance  hall  can  still 
be  seen.  About  six  feet  from  the  floor  there  is  a  little  alcove,  where 
popular  "Bije"  Evans  used  to  fiddle  for  the  dancers.  The  menag- 
eries which  came  to  town  exhibited  in  front  of  this  tavern. 

All  the  coaches  stopped  at  King's  Tavern,  Vernon,  for  fresh 
relays  of  horses.  Passengers  eagerlv  crossed  the  road  to  Waffle 
Tavern,  famous  for  its  delicious  waffles,  hot  enough  to  tempt  the 
most  jaded  appetite,  and  the  liquors  were  of  the  best.  It  was  often 
remarked  that  even  a  glass  of  water  over  this  bar  was  worth  three 
cents.  Lemuel  Kins;  bought  the  Rich  farm  and  lived  there.  A 
member  of  the  King  familv  tells  that  when  the  stage  reached  the  toll 
gate,  a  little  west  of  the  tavern,  the  horn  was  sounded,  and  imme- 
diately the  waffle  irons  were  put  into  the  coals  to  heat.  The  mother 
of  Samuel  J.  Chaffee,  formerly  of  Rockville,  was  emploved  at  the 
tavern  as  cook. 

The  tavern's  popularity  increased  when  in  June,  1812.  Con- 
gress made  a  declaration  of  war  against  Britain,  and  all  American 
vessels  were  barred  from  sailing  from  New  York  to  Boston  and 
elsewhere.  The  route  bv  sea  around  Point  ludith  was  avoided, 
and  peoole  therefore  had  to  travel  by  road.  Waffle  Tavern  could 
not  possiblv  accommodate  the  increasing  number  of  travelers. 

In  1820  and  1821  Lemuel  King  built  the  commodious  brick 
tavern,  later  called  Vernon  Inn,  now  the  town  farm.  The  brick 
for  the  new  building  was  manufactured  on  the  ground,  and  when 
completed  the  inn  was  pronounced  one  of  the  best  buildings  in  the 
State,  east  of  the  Connecticut  River.  After  a  centurv  and  a  quar- 
ter, the  building  remains  a  monument  to  the  skill  and  workmanship 
of  the  builders. 

Vernon  Inn  was  the  gift  of  Lemuel  King  to  his  son  Hezekiah. 


on  the  occasion  of  his  twenty-first  birthday,  and  the  affection  of 
the  soldier  was  certainly  reflected  in  the  costly  appurtenances  of 
the  tavern.  The  parlor  was  a  feast  for  the  artistic  eye.  The  wall 
paper  was  pictorial.  Mythological  characters  portrayed  Ceres,  the 
Roman  goddess  of  grain;  the  Roman  Hercules  in  the  act  of  slaying 
the  dragon;  and  Atalanta,  the  Greek,  in  one  of  her  celebrated 
bursts  of  speed.  The  sunny  rooms,  the  wide  stairway,  the  antique 
furniture,  the  business  den,  the  twenty  horses  in  the  stables,  and 
the  hitching  posts  which  now  stand  unused  engrave  upon  our  im- 
agination that  center  of  social  life  in  the  long  ago,  to  which  the 
stage  coaches  brought  tidings  from  the  outer  world.  Ivied  tradi- 
tion tells  us  that  Daniel  Webster,  Henry  Clay,  General  Grant,  and 
other  distinguished  personages  shared  the  hospitality  of  the  inn, 
and  the  visit  of  General  Lafayette  is  anchored  in  facts. 

From  the  diary  of  the  honorable  Timothy  Bigelow,  noted  au- 
thor and  traveler  of  Boston,  we  glean  his  impression  of  the  tavern 
in  a  trip  he  took  from  Boston  to  Philadelphia  in  1822: 

"From  Stafford  Springs,  the  first  town  in  Connecticut, 
we  went  to  Tolland  in  Connecticut,  where  we  intended  to 
have  dined,  but  were  prevented  by  a  hungry  collection  of 
Conventional  ministers,  who  had  assembled  there  that  day 
from  all  parts  of  Connecticut,  and  it  was  said  would  prob- 
ably consume  all  there  was  in  the  place  that  could  be  pos- 
sibly put  on  the  table  that  day.  We  stopped,  and  en- 
quiring, were  told  by  the  landlord  that  if  we  would  sit 
down  with  a  few  of  them  we  could  stand  some  chance  of 
whetting  our  whistles,  but  must  scramble  for  the  rest,  as 
they  were  a  very  hungry  race  of  men — or,  he  said,  we 
could  go  on — which  we  preferred,  and  we  rode  as  far  as 
King's  Inn,  in  Vernon,  Connecticut,  where  we  arrived  about 
three  o'clock,  and  were  provided  with  every  refreshment 
we  could  wish.  We  had  a  good  dinner,  well  cooked,  good 
attendance,  and  the  house  one  of  the  best  ever  visited  by 
travelers  in  this  or  any  other  country.  It  is  a  house  in 
every  respect  well  worthy  of  the  attention  of  travelers." 

The  toll  house  on  the  turnpike  stood  on  the  site  now  occupied 
by  Mr.  Benton's  antique  shop  at  the  junction  of  South  Street  (then 
Squire  Rogers  Street)  and  the  highway.  The  house  was  painted 
red,  and  Thaddeus  C.  Bruce  collected  the  toll.  "Squire"  Bruce 
they  called  him,  for  he  held  court  in  his  house  occasionally  to  deal 
with  cases  of  disorderly  conduct  in  the  vicinity.     He  owned  a  farm 


in  the  eastern  part  of  the  town  and  his  house,  located  on  the  turn- 
pike near  its  intersection  with  South  Street,  was  used  as  a  toll 
house.  Judge  Bruce  in  true  Masonic  fashion  called  it  "The  East 
Gate."  He  was  a  noted  local  character.  His  tall,  ungainly  form, 
unkempt  appearance,  unconventional  manner  and  jovial  ways  were 
a  frequent  source  of  joy  and  delight  to  the  younger  brethren.  It 
was  "Brother"  Bruce  who  arranged  for  the  first  lodge  room  in 
what  was  formerly  the  dance  hall  of  the  old  brick  tavern. 

Another  of  Brace's  arrangements  proved  disagreeable  and 
costly  to  himself  and  others.  He  owned  a  swamp  on  land  adjoin- 
ing his  home.  He  persuaded  a  group  of  people  to  invest  in  his 
"peat  bog,"  in  the  hope  of  saving  the  cost  of  wood  and  coal.  But 
Brace's  peat  turned  out  to  be  nothing  but  mud,  and  time  and 
money  went  up  in  smoke. 

The  toll  gates  were  about  ten  miles  apart.  Twenty-five  cents 
admitted  a  pleasure  carriage  and  horses,  while  farmers  and  drovers 
paid  one  cent  for  the  passage  of  each  sheep  or  swine.  A  man  with 
his  horse  paid  four  cents,  but  persons  living  within  a  mile  of  the 
gate  or  attending  church  or  a  funeral  were  allowed  the  priviliges 
of  the  gate  without  charge. 


Colonel  Lemuel  King  died  in  1827.  The  next  year  his  son, 
Hezekiah,  was  induced  to  go  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  entered  into 
a  partnership  with  his  brother-in-law,  John  Warburton,  but  the 
King  Tavern  still  had  history  to  make  as  the  home  of  the  poor  and 
unfortunate  of  the  Town  of  Vernon.  In  the  meantime,  Sanford 
Grant  and  Ruell  McKinley,  ancestors  of  Hezekiah  King,  were  suc- 
cessful proprietors  of  the  tavern. 

In  the  year  1847,  when  staging  was  abandoned,  the  King  Tav- 
ern was  closed.  It  was  used  as  a  farmhouse  until  purchased  by 
the  Town  of  Vernon. 

Previous  to  1868,  those  who  were  unfortunate  enough  to  apply 
to  the  town  authorities  for  assistance  or  comfort  were  boarded  at 
different  places.  Those  having  relatives  or  friends  were  allowed, 
if  possible,  to  remain  with  them,  the  town  bearing  the  necessary 
expense.  Frequently  two  or  three  were  boarded  at  one  place  for 
a  stipulated  price,  though  the  Town  of  Vernon  never  adopted  the 
plan  of  allowing  the  support  of  the  poor  to  be  auctioned  off  to 
the  lowest  bidder,  as  was  the  custom  in  many  towns  in  earlier 
times,  and  still  prevails  in  some  localities. 

On  December  4,  1826,  it  was  voted  that  the  Selectmen  be  au- 
thorized to  establish  a  workhouse  in  this  town  or  if  thought  best 
to  negotiate  with  and  join  some  neighboring  town  for  said  purpose. 

So  on  January  13,  1840,  the  town  made  arrangements  with 
Mr.  Henry  Watrous,  of  South  Coventry,  "to  receive  into  his  work- 
house all  persons  sentenced  to  the  workhouse  by  the  civil  authori- 
ties of  Vernon  the  present  year." 

A  special  town  meeting  was  held  on  the  26th  day  of  October, 
1367,  "to  see  about  buying  a  farm  for  the  purpose  of  caring  for 
'he  poor."  A  committee  was  appointed  consisting  of  William  R. 
Orcutt,  Arnold  Carey  and  Isaac  Chester  for  that  purpose,  and  after 
an  exhaustive  investigation  reported  at  another  special  meeting 
held  on  November  18,  1867,  strongly  favoring  the  purchasing  of  a 
farm  owned  by  David  F.  Dart.  The  report  was  accepted  unani- 
mously, and  the  property  deeded  to  the  Town  in  consideration  of 
$5,800.  L.  A.  Corbin,  A.  R.  Talcott,  and  F.  A.  Little  were  the 
selectmen  at  the  time. 

They  expended  the  sum  of  $1,749.50,  purchased  a  yoke  of 
oxen  for  $300  and  two  cows  for  $170.     Other  land  was  purchased 



later  from  Rowena  Rich  and  John  Kingsbury.  Today  the  town 
farm  consists  of  eighty  acres. 

In  1883,  the  town  appropriated  $800  to  replace  the  barn  which 
had  been  destroyed  by  fire;  on  December  1,  1888,  the  Selectmen 
were  instructed  to  put  in  a  steam-heating  apparatus,  and  in  1891 
by  vote  of  the  town,  $15,000  was  spent  in  further  improvements. 
There  are  22  sleeping  rooms,  two  dining  rooms,  kitchen,  laundry, 
bathrooms,  smoke  room  and  two  pantries  to  accommodate  the  ten 

Mr.  Everett  Robertson  was  appointed  superintendent  April  6, 


A  post  office  was  established  at  Bolton,  Tolland  County,  Con- 
necticut, on  September  30,  1812.  It  was  discontinued  on  January  31, 
1940,  reestablished  on  April  18,  1940,  and  discontinued  on  Decem- 
ber 31,  1942.  Listed  below  are  the  names  of  the  postmasters  who 
served  at  Bolton  and  the  date  of  appointment  of  each,  as  shown  in 
the  records  of  the  Post  Office  Department  now  in  the  National 
Archives  and  in  records  still  maintained  by  the  Department: 

Postmaster  Date  of  Appointment 

Saul  Alvord  September  30,  1812 

Samuel  Williams  October  18,  1828 

Jabez  S.  White  May  19,  1837 

Hubble  B.  Alvord  June   1,   1841 

Jabez  S.  White  August  16,  1843 

Elisha  K.  Williams  September  6,  1845 

Albert  Ruggles  July  9,  1861 

Mrs.  M.  Amelia  Ruggles  October  15,    1864 

Henry  Alvord  October   28,    1865 

Sherman  Summer  September  27,   1870 

John  A.  Loomis  April  21,  1876 

John  A.  Alvord  March  28,  1881 

John  A.  Loomis  October  25,    1883 

William  B.  Williams  January  13,  1887 

Everett  M.  Beebe  September  26,  1890 

William  C.  White  October  3,    1891 

Maude  E.  White  May  6,   1912 

Miss  Adelia  N.  Loomis  December  2,  1919 

Mrs.  Ruth  E.  McDonnough  April  18,  1940 

Mail  route  service  to  Bolton  for  the  period  1828-1833  indicates 
that  Mail  Contract  No.  334,  from  New  London  (via  Uncasville, 
Norwich  City,  Norwich,  Franklin,  Lebanon,  Columbia,  Andover, 
Bolton,  Manchester,  and  East  Hartford)  to  Hartford,  a  distance 
of  541/2  miles,  three  times  a  week,  in  carriages,  was  let  to  Zorister 
Bonney  of  Hartford. 

The  post  office  at  Vernon,  Tolland  County,  Connecticut,  was 
established  as  Vernon  Depot  on  July  29,  1853.  Its  name  was 
changed  to  Vernon  on  September  28,  1885.  Listed  below  are  the 
names  of  the  postmasters  who  served  at  Vernon  and  the  date  of 
appointment  of  each,  as  shown  in  the  records  of  the  Post  Office 
Department  now  in  the  National  Archives: 



Postmaster  Date  of  Appointment 

Ira    Ellis  July  29,   1853 

Alfred  K.  Talcott  June  17,  1861 

Ransal  H.  Agard  September    27,    1866 

Benjamin  C.  Phelps  July  16,   1872 

Gideon  G.   Tillinghast  July  18,   1889 

Waldo  E.  Tillinghast  February  10,    1914 

John  J.  Merz  April  6,   1923 

Mrs.  Florence  L.  Foley  December  31,   1948 

(Still  serving) 

The  post  office  at  Vernon  Center,  Tolland  County,  Connecti- 
cut, was  established  at  Vernon  about  March  24,  1812.  Its  name 
was  changed  to  Vernon  Center  on  June  24,  1885.  This  post  office 
was  discontinued  on  March  15,  1910.  Listed  below  are  the  names 
of  the  postmasters  who  served  at  Vernon  Center  and  the  date  of 
appointment  of  each,  as  shown  in  the  records  of  the  Post  Office 
Department  now  in  the  National  Archives: 

Postmaster  Date  of  Appointment 

Lebbeus  P.  Tinker  March  24,   1812 

Edwin   G.   Brigham  October  1,  1844 

Francis  McLean,  Jr.  July  14,   1849 

Eugene  F.  McLean  January  5,    1863 

William  H.  Allen  June  22,  1869 

Miss  Hattie  E.  Bill  March  29,   1878 

Hattie  E.  Ingraham  November  26,  1880 

Susan  L.  Bill  July  16,   1886 

Selina  G.   Butler  April  19,  1887 

Mail  route  service  to  Vernon  Center  ( formerly  Vernon )  for  the 
period  1828-1833  indicates  that  Mail  Contract  No.  367,  from  New 
Haven  (via  Northford,  Durham,  Middletown,  Upper  Middletown, 
Rocky  Hill,  Wethersfield,  Hartford,  East  Hartford,  Vernon,  Tol- 
land, Stafford  Springs,  Holland,  Sturbridge,  Charlton,  Clappville, 
Worcester,  Westboro,  Southboro,  Framingham,  Natick,  Newton, 
Newton  Upper  Fall,  and  Brighton)  to  Boston  let  to  Nathan  Peck 
&  Co.  of  New  Haven,  a  distance  of  135  miles,  daily  in  stages. 

The  first  post  office  building  was  erected  on  the  site  of  the  old 
County  Home. 


The  Probate  Court  was  constituted  for  the  Ellington  District 
on  May  31,  1826,  including  both  the  towns  of  Ellington  and  Vernon. 
At  that  time,  Ellington  was  a  larger  community  than  Rockville. 

The  first  judge  was  Asa  Willey  whose  first  term  was  from 
1826  to  1833.  Apparently  judges  at  that  time  were  elected  for  one 
year,  with  the  term  of  office  later  being  increased  to  two  years, 
and  in  1949  to  four  years. 

Mr.  Willey  served  at  three  different  times.  Records  show  that 
this  was  not  at  all  uncommon,  for  in  many  cases  a  judge  who  was 
out  of  office  for  a  period  would  be  re-elected.  Whether  this  was 
due  to  political  differences  or  to  other  factors  is  not  known.  Mr. 
Willey  and  Benjamin  Pinney  alternated  in  office  from  1826  to  1841, 
serving  for  various  lengths  of  time.  Another  judge  who  was  "in 
and  out"  was  Phineas  Talcott,  first  elected  in  1844,  with  his  final 
term  ending  in  1858.  Some  of  these  judges,  especially  the  early 
ones,  undoubtedly  came  from  Ellington. 

Where  the  courtroom  was  located  before  the  Memorial  Build- 
ing is  not  known,  except  that  Judge  Talcott  held  court  in  the  east 
wing  of  his  home  on  Prospect  Street,  where  he  had  a  good-sized 
courtroom  and  an  office.  This  property  now  serves  the  Union 
Congregational  Church  as  a  parsonage.  It  was  the  Talcott  family 
who  gave  Talcott  Park  to  the  city. 

At  least  two  of  the  judges  of  the  Probate  Court  held  high  state 
offices.  They  were  D wight  W.  Loomis,  who  became  a  Superior 
Court  judge,  and  Lyman  T.  Tingier,  who  became  lieutenant  gov- 
ernor of  Connecticut. 

The  following  is  the  list  of  judges  and  their  terms: 

Asa  Willey— 1826-1833 
Benjamin  Pinney — 1833-34 
Asa  Willey— 1834-35 
Benjamin  Pinney — 1835-38 
Asa  Willey— 1838-41 
Oliver  H.  King— 1841-42 
Thaddeus  C.   Bruce — 1842-44 
Phineas  Talcott — 1844-46 
Joel  W.  Smith— 1846-47 
Phineas  Talcott — 1847-50 
Thaddeus  C.  Bruce — 1850-51 
Phineas  Talcott — 1851-54 
Dwight  W.  Loomis — 1854-55 



Frank  W.  Perry — 1855-57 
Phineas  Talcott — 1857-58 
Caleb  Hopkins— 1858-69 
Gelon  West— 1869-90 
Lyman  Twining  Tingier — 1890-95 
Lester  D.  Phelps— 1895-1903 
Edward  P.  Reiser — 1903-05 
John  E.  Fahey— 1905-29 
C.  Denison  Talcott — 1929-37 
Francis  T.  O'Loughlin — 1937-47 
Nelson  C.  Mead— 1947-49 
Thomas  F.  Rady — 1949- 

December  2,  1811 

Voted  that  swine  be  allowed  to  go  at  large  on  the  highways 
and  commons  on  condition  of  having  two  rings  in  each  nose. 
April  12,  1813 

Voted  to  accept  of  the  Rridge  built  by  Chester  King's  saw  mill 
to  be  considered  in  future  as  belonging  to  the  Town  as  other  bridges 

Whereas  the  convenience  and  safety  of  persons  passing  and 
traveling  in  the  highway,  especially  in  difficult  places,  is  of  public 
and  general  concern,  and  whereas  immediately  west  of  the  meet- 
ing house  in  Vernon  the  road  goes  down  a  long  steep  hill  so  that 
people  on  foot  are  greatly  exposed  to  be  run  upon  by  sleighs,  wag- 
ons and  carriages  of  all  descriptions,  especially  on  the  Sabbath, 
voted  that  the  posts  now  standing  in  said  road  to  protect  a  side- 
walk shall  be  continued  and  kept  in  constant  repair  by  the  surveyor 
of  the  District. 
April  5,  1824 

Voted  that  the  selectmen  procure  a  place  to  erect  a  Building 
for  the  Hearse. 
December  6,  1824 

Voted   to   solicit   subscriptions   for   building   a   house   for   the 
April  2,  1827 

Voted  that  neat  cattle,  horses,  mules,  and  creese  be  restrained 
from  going  at  large  on  the  Highways  and  commons  in  the  Town 
of  Vernon. 
December  6,  1830 — Meeting  at  Conference  Room 

Voted  that  the  several  surveyors  allow  eight  cents  per  hour 
for  labor  of  able-bodied  men  and  others  in  proportion. 

That  the  Selectmen  procure  as  much  stove  pipe  and  put  up 
the  same  in  the  Conference  Room  as  they  may  think  necessary  to 
prevent  smoke  in  the  room. 

1831 — The  following  legislation  on  temperance  in  December  1831: 

"Resolved  as  the  sense  of  this  meeting  that  the  civil 
authorities  be  requested   not  to   grant   any  retailing 



license  in  the  town  the  ensuing  year." 
December  4,  1837 

That  the  selectmen  agree  with  some  person  to  ring  and  toll 
the  bell  at  the  time  of  any  death  or  funeral. 
December  2,  1839 

That  the  selectmen  agree  with  some  person  to  ring  and  toll 
the  bell  at  the  deaths  and  funerals  of  those  for  whom  it  is  requested. 

In  1840,  January,  a  meeting  was  warned,  among  other  things, 
to  see  if  said  town  will  license  taverners  or  retailers  to  sell  wines 
and  spirituous  liquors.  Being  decided  in  the  affirmative,  it  was 
voted  "That  the  storekeepers  who  keep  drugs  and  medicines  for 
sale  have  license  to  sell  wines  and  spirituous  liquors  for  medicinal 
purposes  and  the  mechanic  arts  the  year  ensuing." 

In  October  1845,  vote  by  ballot  was  taken  for  special  commis- 
sioners to  grant  licenses  for  the  sale  of  wines  and  spirituous  liquors 
the  ensuing  year  when  Alonzo  Bailey,  Nathaniel  O.  Kellogg  and 
Edwin  G.  Brigham  were  declared  duly  chosen  for  that  purpose. 
October  4,  1852 

That  the  school  visitors  of  the  school  societies  be  paid  out  of 
the  town  treasury  hereafter. 

That  the  Town  pay  annually  hereafter  the  sum  of  thirty  dol- 
lars to  the  first  Ecclesiastical  Society  in  Vernon  for  the  use  of 
their  Conference  Room  for  town  purposes. 

From    1856   town   meetings  were  held   in   alternate   years   at 
Rockville  and  Vernon  Center.     In   1865  all  such  meetings  were 
transferred  to  Rockville. 
April  30,  1861 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Selectmen  be  authorized  to  furnish  one  Colts  Revolver  to  each 
member  of  the  Citizens'  Guard  of  Rockville  in  case  they  are  called 
into  actual  service;  and  that  said  arms  are  to  belong  to  the  town. 
May  6,  1861 

That  town   furnish   each   member   of  the   Citizens'   Guard   of 
Rockville  going  into  actual  service  with  a  uniform  and  that  said 
uniforms  belong  to  the  town  until  the  expense  is  assumed  by  the 
July  19,  1862 

Selectmen  shall  pay  a  bounty  of  fifty  dollars  to  anv  resident 
of  the  Town  who  shall  volunteer  and  become  enrolled  in  a  Military 
company  to  go  into  the  Army  for  the  defense  of  the  country.  The 
call  of  the  President  is  for  300,000  volunteers.     Defray  expenses  of 


caring  for  sick  and  wounded  soldiers.     [The  Emancipation  Procla- 
mation went  into  effect  the  next  year,  1863.] 
October  20.  1862 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Town  Clerk  instructed  to  place  on  record  account  of  all  the 
men  who  have  enlisted  and  who  may  enlist  in  the  Amiv  or  Xaw 
from  this  town. 
November  22.  1864 

Selectmen  instructed  to  fill  quota  of  the  Town  for  a  future  call 
of  500.000  men  upon  the  best  terms  thev  can  obtain.     -S200  to  be 
paid  to  even'  man  who  shall  enlist  or  procure  a  substitute,  same 
paid  when  accepted. 
August  22.  1865 

A  sum  of  $25,000  be  appropriated  for  the  purpose  of  defraying 
all   necessary   expenses   incurred   in   war.      -S300   each  for   persons 
drafted.     [Lincoln  was  assassinated  in  1865.] 
October  26.  1867 

Sum  of  $1500  to  be  used  for  a  soldiers'  monument  when  a  like 
sum  has  been  raised  bv  subscriptions. 

[The  Tolland  Countv  Journal  of  April  18.  1868.  informs  us 
that  Rockville  is  just  now  suffering  from  some  very  severe  strokes 
of  misfortune.  Two  important  firms  have  publicly  stated  their  in- 
ability to  meet  the  demands  of  creditors.  The  Florence  Mills  and 
the  Rose  Silk  Manufacturing  Companv  are  embarrassed.] 

[It  was  in  the  vear  1869  that  the  Fifteenth  Amendment  was 
passed  bv  both  houses,  giving  suffrage  to  the  Negroes.] 

In  1878 — that  the  pavment  for  an  annual  dinner  for  the  town 
authorities  be  discontinued. 

L880 — The  whole  number  of  names  on  the  Registry  List  of 
the  Town  of  Vernon  used  at  the  Electors'  and  Town  Meeting  was 

[In  1882  the  Citizens'  Band  engaged  premises  for  a  roller 
skating  rink  at  the  old  Envelope  Shop — a  skate  room,  raised  plat- 
form for  music  and  spectators.  Floor  space  90  x  40  ft.  Admission. 
gents  10c  ladies  free.     Use  of  skates  15c  per  night.] 

During  the  decade  from  1880-1890  the  issue  of  granting  licenses 
for  spirituous  liquors  was  voted  upon  each  year.  Only  once,  in 
1884.  did  a  majoritv  oppose  license,  and  then  only  by  a  majority 
of  38.  [There  was  a  lack  of  ethical  traffic  lights  in  those  vears.] 
October  10,  1885 

A   committee   reported   that   something   ought  to   be   done   in 


honor  of  the  soldiers  who  went  forth  in  the  defense  of  the  Stars 
and  Stripes  in  the  late  War  of  the  Rebellion.     Favor  of  the  pur- 
chase of  a  lot  by  the  Town  and  the  creation  of  a  Memorial  Build- 
ing thereon. 
October  12,  1389 

That  the  Town  pav  a  bounty  of  $2.00  each  on  foxes  killed  and 
a  bounty  of  25c  on  woodchucks  killed  in  the  town  of  Vernon. 
October  19,  1893 

Evening  school  250  applied  for  instruction.    Appropriation  and 
plans  made  for  only  50. 
November  16,  1393 

Bell  in  Methodist  Church  is  not  powerful  enough  to  give  a 
thorough  alarm. 

On  October  5,  1893,  at  the  Annual  Town  Meeting,  for  the 
first  time  women  were  allowed  to  vote.  Bv  an  act  of  the  State 
Legislature,  July  1,  1893,  women  had  been  granted  the  right  to 
vote  "at  any  meeting  held  for  the  purpose  of  choosing  anv  officer 
of  schools  or  for  any  education  purpose."  At  the  October  meeting. 
1893.  349  of  Vernon's  women  cast  their  ballots.  It  is  interesting 
to  note  that  the  noveltv  of  the  ballot  soon  wore  off.  In  1895,  19 
women  voted;  in  1897,  21  women  cast  their  votes;  in  1898,  onlv 
5  women  were  interested;  and  in  1901.  not  one  woman  voted. 

An  editorial  in  the  Sun,  Xew  York's  great  newspaper,  with 
ideas  of  its  own  on  woman's  suffrage,  printed  this  paragraph  on 
October  17,  1895: 

"In  Tolland  Countv,  a  strait-laced,  old-fashioned  agri- 
cultural region  among  tall,  rugged  hills,  and  with  no  con- 
siderable towns,  the  woman  vote  was  in  effect  nil,  since  in 
nine-tenths  of  the  town  not  a  woman  voted." 

April  12,  1894 

Xew  jail  buildings.  Tolland  Countv.  erected  to  take  the  place 
of  the  one  burned  last  September,  now  readv  for  occupancv.     Sub- 
stantial in  construction,  convenient  in  arrangement  and  artistic  in 
October  1,  1894 

Voted  81000  to  establish  and  maintain  Evening  Schools.  In 
1897 — Bicvcle  regulations  were  made  for  the  first  time: 

Everv  owner  or  keeper  of  a  bicvcle  shall  annuallv  on  or  be- 
fore the  first  dav  of  June  cause  said  bicvcle  to  be  registered,  num- 


bered,  described,  and  licensed  for  one  year  in  the  town  clerk's  of- 
fice. One  dollar  for  bicycle  carrying  one  person — two  dollars  for 
two  persons  or  more. 

The  town  tree  warden,  Samuel  K.  Ellis,  planted  an  elm  with 
appropriate  exercises  in  the  school  yard  of  East  School,  named 
"Ellis  Elm."  Exercises  on  Tuesday,  April  11,  1911.  The  same  day 
Ellis  planted  a  sugar  maple  in  the  school  yard  of  the  West  District. 
July  10,  1913 

Lightning  never  strikes  twice  in  the  same  place,  so  they  say, 
but  the  tower  on  Memorial  Building  was  struck  for  the  third  time 
last  Sunday. 

A  War  Bulletin  Board  was  erected  on  Town  property  east  of 
Memorial  Building  March  9,  1918. 

November  4,  1918 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Resolved  that  $2500  be  appropriated  by  the  town  for  the  pur- 
pose of  defraying  in  part  expenses  of  Emergency  Hospital  during 
the  prevalence  of  the  influenza  epidemic. 
September  23,  1920 

Women  were  very  eager  to  use  the  right  to  vote  as  given  them 
by  the  19th  amendment.     Seven  hundred  twenty -five  women  filed 
applications.     It  was  necessary  for  registrars  to  swear  in  deputies 
for  clerical  duty. 
November  19,  1923 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Resolved  a  committee  of  seven  be  appointed  to  consider  plans 
for  a  permanent  memorial  to  those  residents  of  the  town  of  Vernon 
who  served  in  World  War  and  in  other  wars  of  our  country. 
October  6,  1924 

Voted  to  sell  the  old  school  building  situated  on  Maple  Street 
to  the  highest  bidder,  who  is  to  remove  the  same.     (The  building 
stood  on  a  site  to  the  rear  of  the  present  building.) 
October  2,  1922 

That  the  town  of  Vernon  shall  build  and  equip  a  building  for 
public  school  purposes  on  the  land  now  owned  by  said  town  at 
corner  of  Union  and  Maple  Streets,  not  to  exceed  $118,000  in  cost. 

October  5,  1925 

Committee  on  War  Memorial  suggested  a  large  stone  tower 
(somewhat  on  lines  of  the  far-famed  tower  at  Newport)  about  40 
feet  high  be  erected  on  Fox  Hill. 
July  2,  1927 

The   School  Committee  returned  to  the  town   $5000  of  the 


$40,000  appropriated  for  the  repairing  and  refitting  the  old  High 
School  building. 
July  3,  1935 

Application   to   Federal   Emergency  Administration   of   Public 
Works  for  a  grant  to  aid  in  financing  the  construction  of  War  Me- 
morial, School  and  Recreation  Center. 
August  31,  1935 — Special 

To  see  if  town  will  allow  the  sale  of  alcoholic  liquor  on  prem- 
ises operating  under  hotel  permitting  restaurant  and  club  permits 
on  Sundays  between  12  noon  and  9:00  in  the  evening.  Yes,  122 — 
No,  130— defeated. 

John  Booth  Thomas,  esteemed  town  clerk  for  21  years,  passed 
away  on  January  13,  1936.     A  Yale  man  of  the  Class  of  1893,  he 
was  always  competent  and  considerate. 
October  3,  1938 

Minutes  of  this  annual  town  meeting  had  special  reference  to 
the  recent  flood  and  hurricane.  $75,000  appropriated  to  meet  ex- 
penses of  repairing  or  rebuilding  roads,  bridges,  public  buildings 
and  other  damage. 

Monday  morning,  September  19,  1938,  opened  a  week  unfor- 
gettable in  New  England  history — one  of  America's  costliest  dis- 
asters. It  is  still  called  Connecticut's  Black  Hour  of  1938.  The 
death  toll  was  558  in  the  region,  with  property  losses  estimated 
from  $150  to  $400  million.  It  rained  Saturday,  Sunday,  Monday 
and  Tuesday,  then  on  Wednesday,  September  21,  between  4:10  p.m. 
and  5  p.m.  within  40  minutes  more  than  100  Connecticut  residents 
were  dead. 

A  Tree  Planting  Ceremony  took  place  on  a  Saturday  afternoon 
in  April,  1939,  in  Central  Park,  under  the  auspices  of  Sabra  Trum- 
bull Chapter,  D.A.R.     Mrs.  O.  C.  Peterson,  Regent. 

This  was  part  of  a  plan  of  the  organization  to  plant  trees  in 
our  parks  and  streets  to  replace  some  of  the  beautiful  landmarks 
destroyed  by  the  hurricane. 
November  4,  1941 — Special  Town  Meeting 

The  establishing  of  a  Recreation  Center  within  the  town  of 
Vernon  was  voted. 
March  20,  1941 

Fire  destroys  the  Rockville  Journal  Building — The  old  White 
Opera  House    ( corner  Brooklyn  and  Market  Streets ) . 
December  18,  1941 

Council  grants  permit  to  tear  down  Railroad  Station.    Permis- 


sion  given  to  Leo  Abel  of  East  Hartford  to  raze  the  old  railroad 
station  of  the  New  Haven  road  on  Market  Street.     Station  was  a 
one-story  frame  building  over  50  years  old. 
March  17,  1942 

Resolved  that  a  five  per  cent  discount  be  allowed  to  all  tax- 
payers who  pay  their  current  year's  taxes  in  full  on  or  before 
April  15. 

Voted  to  adopt  the  use  of  voting  machines  at  all  elections. 
October  1,  1942 

Hospital  Trustees  purchased  Miss  J.  Alice  Maxwell  property 
on  Union  Street.     Acquired  estate  for  a  hospital. 
October  6,  1942 

Voted  to  appropriate  the  sum  of  $750  for  the  erection  of  an 
Honor  Roll  for  the  citizens  from  the  Town  of  Vernon  who  are 
members  of  the  country's  armed  forces. 
June  15,  1943 

Approved  the  use  of  the  Vernon  Center  School  for  housing 
Fire  Department  truck  and  equipment. 

Permit  the  Dobsonville  Auxiliary  Fire  Department  to  erect  a 
building  to  house  fire  equipment  on  land  of  the  Dobsonville  School 
May  4,  1944 

Sale  recorded  of  historical  property  at  Vernon  Center — Henry 
E.  and  Florence  B.  Marcham  have  purchased  from  John  R.  King 
his  farm  and  buildings  located  on  the  turnpike  at  Vernon  Center 
for  their  future  home.  This  is  the  site  upon  which  the  first  house 
of  worship  in  the  town  of  Vernon  was  erected.  The  meeting  house 
stood  on  the  top  of  the  hill  about  a  half  mile  east  of  the  present 
meeting  house  in  Vernon  Center. 
August  29,  1944 

To  authorize  the  Board  of  Selectmen  to  sell  to  the  State  of 
Connecticut  3.03  acres  of  land  located  at  the  Town  Farm. 
May  29,  1945 

The  legal  voters  hereby  authorize  and  instruct  the  Board  of 
Selectmen  on  behalf  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  to  convey  by  deed  to 
the  American  Legion,  Stanley  Dobosz  Post  No.  14,  Inc.,  a  certain 
piece  or  parcel  of  land  situated  on  the  easterly  side  of  East  Street 
approximately  350  feet  front  and  500  feet  deep  for  a  club  house, 
athletic,  recreational  and  parking  purposes.  Upon  termination  of 
existence  of  the  American  Legion  it  shall  revert  to  Town.  The 
town  to  donate  its  one-half  interest  in  the  "Observation  Hut"  now 


situated  on  Fox  Hill  to  Stanley  Post  to  be  removed  to  newly  ac- 
quired location. 
December  16,  1945 

Voted  to  grant  to  Vernon  Fire  Company  #2  the  use  of  the 
Dobsonville  School  House  for  recreational  purposes. 
October  15,  1946 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Resolved  that  for  the  Town  of  Vernon  celebration  or  home- 
coming in  honor  of  the  Armed  Services  in  World  War  II,  the  sum 
of  $2500  is  hereby  appropriated  to  defray  the  expense  of  said  cele- 
bration or  home-coming. 

December  17,  1946 

Voted  to  approve  the  payment  of  a  $300  bonus  to  each  of  the 
teaching  and  non-teaching  employees  of  the  Board  of  Education; 
to  each  clerk,  and  to  the  janitor  in  the  Memorial  Building,  to  the 
Superintendent  of  the  Town  Farm  and  a  $60  bonus  to  the  part- 
time  janitor  of  the  Vernon  Depot  School  and  a  $30  bonus  to  the 
school  nurse. 
August  19,  1947 — Special  Town  Meeting 

The  Board  of  Selectmen  to  construct  a  parking  place  on  the 
vacant  lot  adjoining  the  Memorial  Building  for  the  convenience  of 
officials  occupying  the  Memorial  Building.     Voted. 

October  6,  1947 

Favored  the  participation  with  the  other  towns   of  Tolland 
County  in  forming  a  Health  District. 
September  26,  1950 

Voted  to  appropriate  a  sum  not  to  exceed  three  hundred  sev- 
enty-three thousand,  one  hundred  twenty-three  and  11/100  $373,- 
123.11,  for  the  erection,  equipping,  and  suitable  furnishing  of  one 
elementary  school  within  said  town;  the  said  amount  to  include 
the  purchase  of  a  site  and  all  other  costs  and  charges. 
February  27,  1951 

First  Selectman  Herbert  Pagani  presented  the  following  reso- 
lution and  moved  its  adoption — 

Whereas:  We  the  people  of  the  town  of  Vernon  and  the  city 
of  Rockville  have  learned  with  great  concern  of  the  possibility7 
that  the  J.  P.  Stevens  &  Sons  Company  is  considering  closing  its 
Rockville  Mills,  known  as  the  Hockanum  Mills,  and 

Whereas:  The  Hockanum  Mills  have  for  many  years  been 
Rockville's  and  Vernon's  outstanding  industry  with  both  the  city 
and  town  growing  around  the  mills,  and 


Whereas:  The  employment,  the  happiness  and  the  future  wel- 
fare of  great  numbers  of  families  here  would  be  upset  if  such  ac- 
tion was  taken,  We,  representative  citizens  of  the  Town  of  Vernon, 
at  a  special  town  meeting  Tuesday  night,  February  27,  1951,  go  on 
record  expressing  the  high  regard  that  the  Hockanum  Mills  are 
held  by  the  people  of  Rockville  and  the  high  esteem  in  which  the 
Stevens  Company  is  held,  and  we  trust  that  your  concern  will 
continue  to  remain  as  our  leading  industry  for  many  years  to  come. 
It  would  be  equally  a  loss  to  the  Company  as  well  as  to  Rock- 
ville and  Vernon  if  the  Stevens  Company  should  close  its  local 
mills,  for  these  mills  in  addition  to  being  a  very  valuable  asset  to 
the  city  and  town,  are  also  an  asset  to  the  Company  because  of 
the  high  grade  workers  who  are  experienced  in  producing  mer- 
chandise of  the  highest  grade,  merchandise  which  has  given  Rock- 
ville a  nation-wide  reputation. 

Vincent  Jordan  seconded  and  it  was  so  voted. 
April  17,  1951 — Special  Town  Meeting 

Mr.  John  Sweeney  presented  the  following  resolution  and 
moved  its  adoption:  — 

Be  it  resolved  that  we,  the  legal  voters  of  the  town  of  Vernon, 
in  town  meeting  assembled  this  17th  day  of  April,  1951,  hereby 
authorize  the  appropriation  of  $1500  as  recommended  by  the  Board 
of  Finance,  for  the  purpose  of  encouraging  industrial  development 
within  the  entire  geographical  limits  of  the  Town  of  Vernon. 

Motion  seconded  by  Robert  Murphy. 

June  19,  1951 — Special  Meeting 

Mr.  Marcham  presented  the  following  resolution:  — 

Resolved  that  the  State  Building  Code  as  compiled  by  the 
Connecticut  State  Housing  Authority  be  and  the  same  is  hereby 
adopted  for  the  Town  of  Vernon.  Charles  Heintz  moved.  Stephen 
Von  Euw  seconded. 

March  4,  1952 

Robert  Marcham  motioned  to  have  the  Statutory  Revaluation 
made  by  professional  appraisers. 

Voted  that  the  sum  of  $11,900  be  appropriated  for  Vernon 
School  and  $8,000  be  appropriated  for  expenses  for  the  Board  of 

To  appropriate  the  sum  of  $27,000  for  teachers'  salary  in- 
creases for  1951-1952. , 



Title  Page 

The  Visicon  of  Samuel  Grant 61 

Facsimile  of  Original   Deed 66 

Lake  Mishenipset  and  the  Cascades 68 

The  Attraction  of  the.  Tankeroosan 74 

Blast  Furnace  and  Iron  Foundry 82 

The  Rock  Mill   82 

Warburton's   Mill    87 

Talcottville   Mills    90 

The  Frank  Mill    91 

The  American  Mill    92 

The  Paper   Mill    93 

The  Springville  Manufacturing  Co 94 

The  Hockanum   96 

The  New  England  Mill 96 

John    Brown    99 

The  Leeds  Mill 100 

The  Early  Envelope  Company   101 

The  James  J.  Regan  Company 104 

The    Story  of  the  Kingfisher 106 

The  Manufacture  of  Silk 107 

Samuel  Fitch  and  Son  Company 109 

The  Minterburn  Mills  Company    112 

The  Saxony  Mills   112 

New  Industries   113 

Building  a  Railroad 116 

The  Wheels  of  Industry  in  1871 121 

Manufacturing  Achivements  at  Home  and  Abroad 122 

The  Union  Hall  of  Jabez  Sears 125 

Cyrus  White's  Opera  House 127 

The  Henry  Opera  House   129 

A  Few  Prices  in  the  Sixties 131 



Title  Page 

Facsimile  of  Original  Deed   59 

Homes  of  Elnathan  and  Ozias  Grant 60 

Lake    Meshinipset    67 

Snipsic  Dam    70 

Excursion  Steamer    72 

Old  Saw  and  Grist  Mill   74 

Peter   Dobson    76 

Home  of  Delano  Abbot 78 

The  "Twin"  Mills   80 

Francis  McLean    83 

The  Old  Stone  Mill  84 

The  Rock  Mill    86 

War-burtons   Mills    87 

Warburton's  Inn   89 

The  American  Mill 92 

The  Springville  Mill   94 

Kellogg  Lawn   97 

John    Brown    98 

United   States   Envelope  Factory    103 

The  "Kingfisher"  Company    105 

Old  Skating  Rink  108 

Samuel  Fitch  and  Sons  Company 109 

The  Minterburn   Mills    Ill 

American   Dyeing  Corporation    113 

First  Engine  on  Rockville  Branch   116 

Union  Hall  of  Jabez  Sears  124 

Cyrus  White's  Opera  House    126 

The  Henry  Opera  House 129 









When  the  eighteenth  century  was  yet  in  its  teens,  the  Town 
of  Bolton  had  become  a  flourishing  center  of  population  and  spec- 
ulation. A  group  of  enterprising  inhabitants  desired  to  construct 
through  the  center  of  the  settlement  on  the  familiar  ridge  a  com- 
mon, but  in  promulgating  the  project,  they  discovered  that  Cap- 
tain Bull's  farm,  owned  by  a  non-resident,  Samuel  Grant  of  Wind- 
sor, might  prove  a  barrier  to  their  contemplated  plan.  His  home 
and  his  interests  were  not  in  Bolton  but  in  Windsor,  Connecticut. 
Whispering  their  misgivings  to  each  other  these  perturbed  resi- 
dents approached  Samuel  Grant  in  the  faint  hope  of  inducing  him 
to  exchange  his  farm  in  Bolton  for  500  acres  at  the  extreme  north 
end  of  the  town,  which  included  Rockville  and  its  excellent  water 
power.    It  was  the  year  1726! 

To  their  astonishment,  Samuel  Grant  envisaged  in  the  propo- 
sition a  bright  future,  and  with  complete  confidence  in  his  own 
rugged  instinct,  immediatelv  mounted  his  best  horse,  rode  hastilv 
from  Windsor,  crossed  the  Hockanum  stream,  clambered  over 
rocks  and  through  dense  thickets  until  he  reached  the  outlet  of 
Shenipset  pond,  and  there  prospected  in  traditional  Yankee  fashion. 

Then  with  an  eagerness  as  fresh  and  invigorating  as  the  north- 
ern air,  Samuel  Grant  rode  to  Bolton  for  a  conference  with  the  pro- 
prietors, and  without  much  formalitv  exchanged  his  six  hundred 
acres  ( those  who  knew  were  certain  it  did  not  measure  a  foot  more 
than  one  hundred  acres )  for  five  hundred  acres  or  more  of  the  land 
in  the  north  end  of  the  township.  The  transaction  was  consum- 
mated with  accelerated  speed  bv  the  proprietors,  for  thev  regarded 
the  land  on  Shenipset  outlet  as  almost  worthless.  On  the  other 
hand,  Samuel  Grant  viewed  with  evident  pride  his  five  hundred 
acres  of  primitive  land,  which  todav  is  the  fertile  and  promising 
city  of  Rockville  in  the  town  of  Vernon. 

WTith  restless  feet  and  a  questing  mind,  the  pioneer  packed 
his  saddlebags  on  the  Sabbath  after  sunset  ( not  to  offend  the 
strict  Sabbath  laws),  waved  goodbve  to  his  kinsfolk  on  Monday 
morning  to  possess  his  pristine  home  in  the  wilderness.  He  raised 
his  hat  in  gratitude  when  he  reached  a  glen  at  the  corner  of  Union 
Street  and  Grant  Street,  and  there  working;  sturdily  and  unceasing- 
lv  with  his  narrow  but  effective  pioneer's  axe  he  erected  in  the 
course  of  a  few  months  a  comfortable  loghouse,  20  x  15  feet,  con- 



sisting  of  one  room  and  an  attic.  This  was  destroyed  by  fire,  but 
a  little  red  one-story  building  was  erected  to  replace  the  log  cabin 
and  was  moved  south  of  the  Keeney  fence  to  make  room  for  the 
present  house  on  the  corner  of  Union  and  West  Streets,  and  occu- 
pied by  Nathaniel  R.  Grant  and  family. 

That  was  the  beginning  of  civilization  in  the  western  part  of 
Rockville  in  the  year  1726 — Behold!  An  adventurer  of  high  cour- 
age; a  lonely  hut  of  pine  and  hemlock,  and  never  the  cry  ot  a  child 
in  it;  a  pathway  cut  through  a  jungle  of  underbrush;  a  territory  as 
bleak  as  a  prairie  after  dark;  a  tributary  of  the  Shenipset  passing 
near  by  on  its  undiscouraged  way  to  the  sea;  and  a  few  wider  trails 
leading  to  Hartford,  Windsor,  Tolland  and  Bolton.     That  was  all! 

Mark  the  contrast!  The  town  of  Vernon  with  an  area  of  11,758 
acres  had  a  population  in  1950  of  town  10,115;  city  8,016,  and  a 
city  Grand  List  of  $10,703,942. 

Samuel  Grant  was  a  descendant  of  Matthew  Grant,  who  was 
born  in  England  on  October  27,  1601,  and  died  in  Windsor,  Con- 
necticut, December  16,  1681.  Dr.  Henry  R.  Stiles  in  his  "History 
of  Ancient  Windsor"  informs  us  that  "few  men  filled  so  large  a 
place  in  the  early  history  of  that  town  as  honest  Matthew  Grant." 

The  maker  of  history  in  these  hills  was  born  at  Windsor,  Con- 
necticut, in  1691  and  died  in  the  same  town  in  1751.  He  had  a 
family  of  six  sons,  only  one  of  whom  tarried  in  Rockville  long 
enough  to  acquire  a  sense  of  belonging.  Ozias  was  born  at  East 
Windsor  in  1733,  came  here  in  1761,  ten  years  after  his  father's 
death,  and  built  a  frame  house  on  land  adjoining  the  old  log  cabin 
in  the  year  1782.  He  became  a  farmer  and  built  grist  and  saw 
mills  near  the  site  on  which  the  Saxony  mill  stood  until  quite  re- 
cently. That  was  the  first  harnessing  of  the  power  of  the  cataracts 
of  the  Hockanum  River. 

One  spring  morning,  however,  when  Ozias  was  enjoying  the 
work  in  his  field,  as  bright  and  eager  as  the  wild  daisies  about  him, 
he  was  abruptly  pressed  into  the  service  of  the  English  army,  took 
part  in  the  Quebec  Campaign,  and  marched  on  the  Lexington 
Alarm.     He  resumed  farming  on  his  return. 

His  colorful  and  unconventional  personality  attracted  the  at- 
tention of  the  small  community.  From  an  oral  rather  than  a  writ- 
ten tradition  we  learn  that  he  had  been  a  miller  by  trade,  and 
usually  wore  the  white  linen  cap  of  those  days. 

He  was  remarkable  for  his  simple  and  quaint  manners,  perfect 
health,  and  unusual  stature,  "whose  foot  made  a  great  track  in  the 


sand."    He  lived  to  the  age  of  four  score  and  ten  years,  and  was 
laid  to  rest  in  the  ancient  burying  ground  at  Vernon  in  1823. 

Ozias  Grant  had  a  family  of  thirteen  children:  Elnathan,  Abiel 
(who  was  fatally  injured  in  a  Rockville  mill),  Wareham,  Aurelia, 
Augustus,  Aruma,  Teruiah,  Elijah,  Elisha,  Francis,  Lorana,  Anna, 
and  Elvira. 

Only  one  of  these  sons  of  Ozias,  Elnathan,  contributes  interest 
to  our  historical  sketch.  He  was  born  in  Vernon,  August  31,  1761, 
and  died  in  Tolland  on  August  31,  1849,  the  last  survivor  of  the 
Revolutionary  War  in  Tolland  County.  It  is  recorded  of  Elnathan 
fhat  one  night  he  was  put  on  picket  duty  after  he  had  been  de- 
prived of  sleep  for  two  or  three  nights,  and  was  discovered  fast 
asleep  by  one  of  the  officers.  He  was  hurriedly  taken  to  the  guard- 
house and  locked  up.  The  next  day  he  was  charged  with  the  grave 
offense  of  sleeping  while  on  duty,  and  sentenced  to  be  shot.  Later 
in  the  day  some  of  the  officers  heard  of  his  desperate  predicament 
and,  moved  with  pity,  common  to  men  in  uniform,  interceded  in 
his  behalf,  pleading  his  youthfulness  and  previous  good  character 
as  a  soldier. 

After  a  long  consultation  it  was  officially  decided  to  revoke 
the  sentence  and  give  him  another  chance.  He  was  ecstatically 
pleased,  and  the  chastening  experience  remained  etched  upon  his 
memory.  Elnathan  owned  "Covenant"  in  the  Vernon  Church,  and 
was  known  as  "a  simple-hearted,  pure-minded,  honest,  Christian 
man."  The  Elnathan  Grant  homestead,  built  in  1782,  still  stands, 
No.  102  Union  Street.  It  is  known  as  the  Bailey  House,  and  is 
owned  and  occupied  by  Mrs.  Clyde  Davis.  Bailey  Lane,  which 
joins  Union  Street  and  Prospect  Street,  belongs  to  the  same  tradi- 

Harlow  Kingsbury  Grant,  a  son  of  Francis  Grant,  born  in  Rock- 
ville on  February  5,  1809,  is  remembered  by  few.  He  lived  in  a 
house  that  stood  near  the  site  of  the  ancient  log  cabin.  He  attended 
the  little  Grant  School,  continuing;  his  education  in  the  Vernon 
High  School,  where  he  became  noted  for  his  fine  penmanship.  As 
an  incident  in  his  school  career,  a  composition  composed  and  writ- 
ten by  him  on  the  temperance  question  was  so  convincing  that  a 
teacher,  T.  L.  Wright,  of  East  Hampton,  Massachusetts,  found  it 
necessary  to  reply  to  it. 

And  a  son  of  Harlow  Kingsburv  Grant,  Nathaniel  Root  Grant, 
grandfather  of  Harlow  Grant  and  father  of  Frank  Grant,  had  an 
important  role  in  the  early  days.     Born  in  1836,  he  resided  on  the 


old  Grant  estate,  owning  thirty -five  acres  of  the  original  500  acres. 
He  was  a  milk  peddler,  using  in  his  business  a  pair  of  oxen.  He 
constructed  a  sugar  mill  on  the  Grant  estate,  opposite  the  Maple 
Street  School.  Here  he  raised  sorghum,  and  the  process  of  making 
molasses  syrup  in  the  open  with  horses  turning  the  vat  in  circular 
movement  was  eagerly  watched  by  children  on  the  way  to  and 
from  school.  Men  and  women  in  Rockville  who  have  passed  the 
eightieth  milestone  distinctly  remember  the  delicious  "lollypop" 
stalks  given  to  the  youngsters.     The  waste  was  sold  for  fertilizer. 

The  operation  of  making  sorghum  syrup  at  the  factory  on 
West  Street  is  of  interest.  The  juice  was  extracted  from  the  cane 
by  machinery  and  evaporation.  The  cane  was  very  easily  grown, 
and  ordinarily  yielded  about  200  gallons  of  syrup  to  the  acre. 
Farmers  brought  their  cane  to  the  mill. 

Nathaniel  introduced  progressive  methods  in  his  farming,  and 
tried  successfully  experiments  in  the  raising  of  tobacco.  He  was 
a  public-spirited  man  and  for  several  years  served  the  town  as  select- 
man and  then  for  several  years  as  Superintendent  of  Public  Streets. 
While  in  that  office,  however,  he  was  smartly  spanked  by  public 
opinion  when  in  February,  1898,  he  was  actually  arrested  and 
convicted  for  violation  of  a  city  ordinance  in  not  keeping  the  mid- 
dle road  of  the  tripled  terraces  in  proper  condition  to  insure  public 
safety.  Attorney  Tingier  issued  the  warrant,  and  superintendent 
Nathaniel  Root  Grant  had  to  pay  the  costs,  $11.41.  The  city  later 
apologetically  refunded  the  costs. 

Frank  Grant,  son  of  Harlow  Kingsbury  Grant,  was  born  in 
1839  in  Rushford,  New  York,  but  came  to  Rockville  in  1849.  When 
a  boy  he  attended  school  on  West  Street.  He  served  Chauncy 
Hibbard  as  clerk  for  several  years;  was  later  employed  by  Joseph 
Selden,  mill  owner  and  merchant;  in  1862,  he  was  secretary  and 
treasurer  of  Leeds  Mill;  conducted  a  business  in  painters'  and  build- 
ers' supplies  on  East  Main  Street  for  thirty  years;  was  director  and 
vice-president  of  Rockville  National  Bank  for  forty-one  years.  In 
1888  he  built  the  elegant  house  on  Union  Street  now  owned  and 
occupied  by  Dr.  Roy  Ferguson.  For  nine  years  he  served  in  the 
State  Militia.  He  was  the  first  treasurer  of  the  City  of  Rockville 
in  1889. 

At  the  turn  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the  west  district  of 
Rockville  began  to  grow.  The  actual  number  of  families  living 
there  was  thirteen,  of  which  number  six  were  Grants.  Here  the 
first  schoolhouse  in   the  West   District  was   built,   known   as   the 


Grant  School,  a  little  one-story  building,  which  after  a  few  years 
was  converted  into  a  soap  factory,  and  later  into  a  common  barn. 
A  few  yards  south  was  a  wooden  building — the  Saxony — operated 
later  by  the  Hockanum  Company.  Peter  Wendheiser,  who  con- 
ducted a  factory  for  making  all  kinds  of  furniture  (everything  in 
those  days  was  made  by  hand)  in  1867  built  a  commodious  struc- 
ture, nearly  opposite  the  head  of  Windsor.  The  building  was  com- 
pletely destroyed  by  fire. 

Next  to  Wendheiser's  store  was  that  of  F.  B.  Little,  dealer  in 
dry  goods,  groceries,  crockery,  boots  and  shoes. 


The  original  deed  granted  to  Samuel  Grant  by  the  "Agents  of 
the  Proprietors  of  Bolton  Lands,"  is  now  in  the  possession  of  Na- 
thaniel R.  Grant,  a  copy  of  which  is  given  below: 

KNOW  ALL  MEN  BY  THESE  PRESENTS,  That  We,  Timothy 
Olcott,  Francis  Smith  and  John  Bissell  all  of  Bolton,  in  the  County  of 
Hartford  and  Colony  of  Connecticut,  Agents  to  the  Proprietors  of  ye 
common  and  undivided  land  in  Bolton,  for  and  in  consideration  that 
Samuel  Grant,  of  Windsor  is  obliged  to  convey  and  confirm  to  us,  the 
said  Timothy  Olcott,  Francis  Smith  and  John  Bissell,  as  agents  of  the 
proprietors  aforesaid,  all  that  right  and  title  which  said  Grant  now 
hath  to  a  certain  farm  in  Bolton  formally  granted  to  Thomas  Bull  and 
surveyed  to  him  by  one  James  Steel.  In  consideration  aforesaid,  we, 
the  said  Timothy  Olcott,  Francis  Smith  and  John  Bissell,  for  ourselves 
and  in  behalf  of  the  proprietors  aforesaid,  to  give,  grant,  bargain, 
convey  and  confirm  unto  the  said  Samuel  Grant,  and  to  his  heirs  and 
assigns  forever,  one  tract  or  parcel  of  land  lying  in  the  township  of 
Bolton,  at  the  north  end  of  said  township,  in  quantity  five  hundred 
acres,  bounded  north  on  Windsor,  commonly  called  Windsor  Equivalent 
lands,  the  whole  breadth  of  the  town  of  Bolton,  except  one  piece  in  the 
northeast  corner  of  said  Bolton,  under  the  improvement  of  one  Whiple, 
of  about  thirty  acres;  and  said  tract  of  land  is  to  run  soe  far  south  from 
the  north  end  of  said  Bolton,  the  whole  breadth  of  said  town,  except  the 
corner  aforesaid,  as  will  make  five  hundred  acres  of  land;  and  abuts 
north  on  Windsor  Equivalent  land,  east  on  Tolland,  except  the  aforesaid 
corner  on  Whiples,  south  on  the  proprietors  of  Bolton  lands,  west  on 
Windsor,  to  have  and  to  hold  said  five  hundred  acres  of  land,  as  above 
described,  with  all  the  privileges  and  appurtenances  thereto  belonging, 
to  him  the  said  Samuel  Grant,  his  heirs  and  assigns,  forever.  And  we, 
the  said  Timothy  Olcott,  Francis  Smith  and  John  Bissell,  for  ourselves 
and  in  behalf  of  the  proprietors  aforesaid,  do  by  these  presents  cove- 
nant, promise  and  grant,  to  and  with  the  said  Samuel  Grant,  his  heirs 
and  assigns,  that  we  will  defend  the  above  bargained  premises  to  said 
Grant  and  his  heirs,  against  the  lawful  claims  and  demands  of  all  and 
every  person  whatsoever;  in  confirmation  whereof  we  doe  hereto  sett 
our  hands  and  seals  this  29th  day  of  April,  A.D.,  1726.       (Signed) 


Hartford,  April  the  25th,  1726. 
John  Bissell,  Timothy  Olcott  and  Francis  Smith,  the  subscrib- 
ers to  the  above  written  deed,  voluntarily  appeared  and  acknowl- 
edged the  same  to  their  voluntary  act  and  deed,  before  me, 

OZIAS  PITKIN,  Justice  of  the  peace. 
Rec'd  to  be  Recorded,  April  30th,  A.D.,  1726,  and  Recorded  the 
same  at  Large  in  Bolton  Records,  page  85. 

JOHN  BISSELL,  Regstr. 





The  real  source  of  Rockville's  industrial  growth  and  commer- 
cial development  through  two  centuries  may  be  traced  to  Lake 
Mishenipset,  a  gem  of  perfect  beauty,  unmatched  by  any  other 
lake  in  New  England.  Without  its  water  power,  Rockville  would 
have  remained  a  mere  gorge  in  the  vibrant  hills  of  Tolland. 

Snipsic  is  all  that  is  left  of  its  original  mellifluous  Indian  name 
Mishenipset — Mishe — big;  nips — pool — the  big  pool,  and  even  that, 
in  keeping  with  the  American  fondness  of  abbreviations,  has  been 
further  decapitated,  and  the  man  in  the  street,  that  convenient  re- 
pository of  popular  opinion,  now  affectionatelv  calls  it  "Snip." 

This  picturesque  body  of  water,  2^4  miles  long  and  one  mile 
at  its  widest  point,  belongs  to  three  towns — Tolland,  Ellington, 
Vernon.  The  lake  covers  553  acres,  and  the  capacity  of  the  full 
lake  is  4,900,000,000  gallons.  Its  shores  are  indented  with  many 
little  bays  and  coves,  giving  a  pleasing  irregularity  of  outline, 
while  its  surface  is  broken  into  tiny  waves  and  ripples  as  the  breeze 
passes  over  it.  How  enchanting  to  watch  the  playful  rush  of  these 
rivulets,  as  they  leap  into  the  little  coves,  seemingly  desirous  of 
reaching  the  green  hillsides,  climbing  the  rocks,  and  disobeying 
the  laws  of  Mother  Nature!  But  they  have  a  nobler  errand — to 
carry  over  the  falls  the  life-giving  stream  to  thousands  of  toilers 
dependent  on  this  never-failing  supply. 

Time  out  of  mind,  the  Snipsic  descends  over  ledge  and  rocky 
heights,  falling,  falling,  falling  in  lovely  cascades,  emptying  its 
treasure  into  the  chalice  of  rockv  earth,  and  triumphantlv  pursuing 
its  winding  way  along  the  Hockanum,  (Indian  hocquaun — mean- 
ing hook-shaped  or  crooked  river)  to  the  mother  of  waters. 

"Cotton  Wool  and  Iron,"  a  fabrics  periodical,  took  time  out  to 
visit  Rockville  Mills  in  the  vear  1884,  and  on  March  21  of  that  vear 

The  water  is  first  used  at  the  Rockville  warp  mills 
with  a  fall  of  16  feet.  From  this  fall  it  empties  into  Paper 
Mill  Pond,  and  from  which  it  runs  the  silk  mill  of  Belding 
Brothers  with  a  fall  of  33  feet.  It  next  runs  the  Stockinet 
Mill,  with  a  fall  of  16  feet,  and  then  empties  into  a  very 
small  pond  that  supplies  the  American  Mills  with  15  sets 
of  machinery  and  a  fall  of  40  feet.  The  above  105  feet 
fall  is  within  a  distance  of  less  than  300  feet. 



Next  comes  the  Rock  Company's  Mill  with  its  27  feet 
fall  and  nearly  as  many  sets  of  machinery.  Next  comes 
the  Leeds  Mill  with  its  22  feet  fall  owned  by  the  Rock 
Company  and  in  their  yard.  After  this,  and  close  by,  is 
the  White  Manufacturing  Company's  Gingham  Mill  with 
its  fall  of  20  feet.  Next  and  close  by  is  the  New  England 
Company's  mill  of  9  or  10  sets  of  machinery  on  fancy 
cassimeres,  which  is  run  by  a  fall  of  20  feet.  White,  Cor- 
bin  and  Company  large  envelope  works  comes  next  with 
a  fall  of  19  feet.  Close  by  is  the  Springville  satinet  mill 
with  a  fall  of  18  feet.  The  Hockanum  Mill  comes  next 
with  its  18  feet  fall,  and  the  Saxony  close  by,  owned  by 
the  same  company,  with  its  10  feet  fall.  There  is  still  an- 
other mill  down  on  the  plain  devoted  to  woolen  goods, 
and  containing  8  sets  of  machinery,  with  a  fall  of  24  feet. 

The  close  proximity  of  some  of  these  mills  to  each 
other  is  remarkable,  accounting  for  the  great  fall.  It  will 
be  found  by  figuring  up  the  different  falls  that  they 
amount  to  283  feet. 

Mathias  Spiess,  of  Manchester,  Connecticut,  a  student  of  Indian 
lore  for  many  years,  informs  us  that  the  boundaries  of  three  Indian 
territories  met  at  Snipsic  Pond:  on  the  north  and  to  the  east  was 
the  Hipmuck  country;  on  the  west  that  of  the  Podunks;  and  to 
the  south  the  Mohegan  country.  It  was  the  custom  of  bands  of 
Indians  to  journey  many  miles  from  their  homes  on  hunting  expe- 
ditions and  make  encampment  near  a  lake  or  stream  for  months  at 
a  time.  However,  no  full  tribe  was  probably  ever  located  in  this 
vicinity,  and  when  Samuel  Grant  began  his  adventure  here  in 
1726,  a  few  Indians  only  had  erected  their  wigwams  near  Sucker 
Brook  and  had  pitched  their  hamlets  on  the  eastern  slope  of  the 
pond,  where  a  genial  soil  furnished  the  juicy  roasting  ears,  and  the 
waters  provided  an  abundance  of  easily-caught  fish. 

Here  for  several  years  stood  the  hut  of" Aunt"  Sarah  and  Isaac 
Rogers.  A  pious,  good-natured  half  breed,  Sarah  found  favor 
among  the  few  white  inhabitants,  who  always  generously  filled 
her  basket  with  tokens  of  kindness,  when  she  made  her  customary 
tour  of  the  villages.  She  used  to  bring  small  bags  of  sand  and 
sell  them  to  the  women  for  sanding  floors.  Incidentallv,  there  are 
several  references  in  the  old  Bolton  records  to  sand  as  a  useful 
commodity.  Sarah  also  brought  grapes  and  other  kinds  of  fruit 
for  sale. 




A  tract  commending  her  excellencies  was  published  by  the 
American  Missionary  Society  of  Boston,  Massachusetts,  and  though 
it  perhaps  exaggerated  her  virtues,  it  portrayed  evidences  of  her 
good  heart.  A  copy  of  the  tract  may  be  seen  among  the  exhibits 
of  the  Ellington  Public  Library  under  the  title — "Poor  Sarah,  or 
the  Indian  Woman."  She  lived  on  the  eastern  slope  of  Snipsic 
Lake,  near  Sucker  Brook,  and  died  in  1817.  Her  husband  Isaac 
did  not  possess  her  lovely  qualities.  He  was  too  fond  of  fire 
water.  It  was  usual  for  him  to  walk  along  Market  Street  at  an 
angle  and  unusual  for  him  to  remain  perpendicular  for  any  dis- 
tance. One  day  he  strolled  off  in  his  canoe  on  the  lake  and  never 

We  do  get  another  glimpse  of  Indians  through  reminiscences 
of  George  M.  Brown,  who  recalls  that  in  the  year  1844,  before  the 
Leader  Office  was  built,  there  was  a  large  pond  called  the  Rock 
Pond,  where  there  were  fine  fishing  and  skating.     Writes  Brown: 

"I  have  seen  fine  pickerel  caught  out  of  the  pond  by 
an  Indian  by  the  name  of  Ned  Dolphin.  He  would  fish 
from  his  boat  with  live  bait  and  skitter  it  on  top  of  the 


water.  He  claimed  that  that  was  the  way  Indians  fished 
for  pickerel.  A  good  hunter  and  fisherman,  he  could 
sound  the  warhoop  and  the  Hoo  Hoo,  and  would  make  all 
the  woods  around  ring." 

In  the  year  1834,  the  Rock  Company  purchased  the  mill  prop- 
erty and  all  water  power  from  the  Payne  family,  built  a  rough 
stone  and  gravel  dam,  and  put  in  a  flume  at  a  total  expense  of 
$548.79,  of  which  sum  $355  was  for  land  flowage,  leaving  the  ac- 
tual cost  of  the  dam  $193.79. 

In  1847,  the  owners  of  water  power  on  the  stream  formed  an 
association,  purchased  lands  skirting  the  shores,  and  erected  a  sub- 
stantial stone  dam  13%  feet  high,  thus  raising  the  pond  an  addi- 
tional ten  feet.  The  Aqueduct  Company  was  first  organized  in 
1847,  with  a  capital  of  $7,000  and  a  board  of  officers  consisting  of 
George  Kellogg,  president,  and  Phineas  Talcott,  secretary  and 
treasurer.  Cement  pipes  were  laid  through  all  the  principal  streets 
and  connected  with  all  the  mills.  A  reorganization  of  the  company 
took  place  under  a  charter  granted  by  the  Legislature  in  the  year 
1866  with  J.  J.  Robinson  as  president  and  J.  C.  Hammond,  Jr.,  as 
secretary  and  treasurer,  with  an  authorized  capital  of  $40,000. 

For  some  considerable  time  the  owners  of  mills  in  Rockville 
and  manufacturers  on  the  Hockanum  River  in  Manchester  and 
East  Hartford  discussed  the  desirability  of  raising  the  dam  again. 
Mr.  David  Hale,  of  New  York,  having  purchased  the  Paper  Mill 
property,  took  a  lively  interest  in  the  suggested  improvements.  His 
proposal  of  a  dam  seventeen  feet  higher  than  the  old  one  was  at 
first  treated  as  visionary,  but  its  construction  resulted  in  a  change 
of  the  water  level  from  six  feet,  which  was  originally  suggested,  to 
ten  feet. 

By  the  year  1880,  Snipsic  Lake  became  a  popular  summer  re- 
sort. Half  way  up  the  lake  is  nature's  best  production — a  15  acre 
well-shaded  grove  of  chestnuts,  oak,  pine,  maple  and  birches.  At 
this  grove,  all  was  activity  in  the  summer  season,  beginning  on 
Memorial  Day.  A  big  dancing  pavilion,  refreshment  room,  shoot- 
ing gallery,  bowling  alley,  automatic  swings,  the  "teeters"  and  en- 
tertainments of  the  finest  order  were  provided  for  visitors  from  all 
parts  of  the  State. 

For  a  number  of  years  the  proprietors  of  the  grove,  L.  E. 
Thompson  and  his  son,  A.  T.  Thompson,  improved  the  grove.  They 
introduced  steamers  ranging  in  size  from  21  feet  to  65  feet  in 
length,  painted  inside  and  out  to  look  as  gay  as  peacocks,  and  a 



pleasure  steamer  150  feet  long,  with  a  capacity  of  200  passengers. 
There  were  moonlight  dances  on  Friday  nights.  The  large  steamer 
left  the  lower  landing  every  half-hour  for  the  grove.  The  fare 
was  five  cents.  Music  was  supplied  by  Shrier's  orchestra.  Tickets, 
including  passage  on  the  steamer,  were  one  dollar. 

Hundreds  of  people  witnessed  the  sailing  and  rowing  races. 
Names  of  boats  for  the  yacht  races  were  Carrie,  Josie,  G.G.B.M., 
Potato  Bug,  Ya  Hoo  and  Yankee  Doodle.  The  course  was  from 
Pine  Island  around  two  buoys  placed  at  the  northeast  and  north- 
west corners  of  the  pond.  For  the  sailing  and  rowing  races — 
Hoo  Hoo,  Dido,  Little  Dinkey,  Black  Friday,  Five  R's  and  What  I 
Know,  were  popular  names. 

Captain  Thompson  had  all  steam  on  in  the  kitchen  at  Snipsic 
Grove,  amid  the  odor  of  fish,  clams,  bluefish,  everything  from 
chowder  to  melon.  The  dining  room  seated  100,  with  a  large  room 
supplied  with  pool  tables,  strength  testers,  weighing  machines  and 
a  large  pavilion,  ice  cream,  photograph  room,  shooting  galleries, 
merry-go-round,  and  swings,  and  a  fine  orchestra  added  to  the 

The  winters  were  quite  cold,  and  the  ice  on  the  lake  was  of 
sufficient  depth  to  permit  horse-racing  attached  to  sleighs.  Sports 
competitions  attracted  large  crowds.  Bert  Ransom  of  tambourine 
repute  and  Frank  Watts  were  prominent  among  the  clever  ice 
figure  skaters  of  that  era. 

In  1886  a  new  dam  was  made  201/o  feet  high  and  the  enlarge- 
ment added  85  acres  to  the  size  of  the  pond.     The  whole  expense 



of  this  job  was  $35,000,  making  the  outlay  up  to  this  time  includ- 
ing the  earlier  improvements  $50,000.  In  1871  the  provision  against 
any  drought  that  might  arise  was  undertaken  and  completed.  This 
added  three  feet  more  to  the  top  of  the  pond,  making  the  dam 
26'  6"  high,  the  present  height.  A  wall  five  to  twenty  feet  high 
on  top  of  the  ledge  on  the  upper  side  of  the  dam  to  prevent  an 
overflow  when  the  pond  is  full  to  the  brim  or  nearly  so  cost  $15,000 
which  makes  the  entire  investment  of  the  Water  Company  $65,000. 
The  granite  dam  is  63  feet,  6  inches  across,  a  fine  piece  of  en- 
gineering work. 

The  building  of  the  Snipsic  dam  is  a  story  of  commendable 
enterprise,  skilful  forethought,  hard  work,  brain  and  muscle. 

On  July  23,  1908,  the  State  Board  of  Health  gave  an  exhaustive 
report  on  the  source  of  water  supply  for  Rockville.  Snipsic's  water 
shed  had  on  it  467  persons,  422  cattle,  116  horses,  77  pigs  and  30 
sheep.  The  committee  found  that  the  water  supply  was  in  danger 
of  becoming  a  serious  menace  to  health  and  recommended  that  the 
city  look  for  another  source  of  supply. 

In  1913  the  Water  and  Aqueduct  Company  did  all  they  could 
to  prevent  any  possible  pollution  of  the  water,  but  the  health  of 
the  people  had  first  consideration  and  the  grove  was  abandoned 
as  a  picnic  resort.  The  coming  of  the  trolley  brought  to  the  lake 
people  from  out  of  town,  and  the  popularity  of  the  resort  was  re- 
garded as  a  menace  to  the  health  of  the  city.  So  the  Aqueduct 
Company  bought  up  the  grove  property  and  it  was  closed.  Bath- 
ing in  the  lake  was  prohibited  on  Thursday,  April  26,  1894. 


The  early  settlers  of  the  town  found  opportunities  for  manu- 
facturing enterprise  in  the  water  power  furnished  by  rapid  and 
constant  streams.  Shenipset  rushed  out  of  its  placid  lake  in  twin 
cataracts:  one,  the  Hockanum  poured  down  the  wild  and  rocky 
glen  where  its  channel  lay  amid  huge  boulders  and  tangled  under- 
brush; while  the  Tankeroosen,  tumbling  southward,  also  offered 
a  challenge  to  daring  manufacturers. 

The  common  wants  of  a  new  settlement  naturally  suggested 
mills  for  making  lumber  and  meal,  to  supply  immediate  demands. 
Grist  mills  were  of  prime  importance:  wheat,  rye  and  barley  must 
be  converted  into  flour  for  daily  use.  It  is,  however,  now  impos- 
sible to  determine  the  date  at  which  grist  and  saw  mills  were  first 
erected  in  town  but  it  is  known  that  the  Grants  built  a  grist  mill 
on  the  site  of  the  Snipsic  mills  at  an  early  date,  and  it  is  also 
believed  that  they  built  a  saw  mill  much  earlier,  a  little  below  the 

The  first  mill  erected  was  a  saw  mill  built  at  Valley  Falls  in 





1740.  In  that  year  Thomas  Johns  started  such  a  mill  on  the  little 
trout  stream  that  comes  down  the  gorge  between  the  hills  from  the 
south,  and  discharges  itself  into  the  Tankeroosen.  This  mill  was 
altered  in  the  year  1790  to  an  oil  mill  for  the  manufacture  of  lin- 
seed oil  from  flax  seed,  and  was  owned  and  operated  by  Joseph 
and  Samuel  Carver,  and  Zekiel  Olcott  of  Bolton.  Woolcarding  and 
spinning  machinery  was  also  operated  by  the  same  power,  and  was 
owned  by  David  Walker,  Norman  W.  and  Solomon  Carpenter  at 
the  place  later  known  as  Centerville.  In  1774,  Mr.  W.  Woolcott, 
of  East  Windsor,  built  a  saw  mill,  which  in  1789  he  sold  to  Stephen 
King,  whose  heirs  in  1809  sold  to  Peter  Dobson,  James  Chapman 
and  Chester  King. 

Mr.  Dobson  came  first  to  Suffield,  Connecticut,  in  1808,  but 
was  attracted  to  Vernon,  where  in  1809  he  purchased  property 
located  on  the  Tankeroosen  River  in  a  ravine  between  the  Talcott- 
ville  bridge  and  the  Vernon  bridge.  Thus,  in  the  year  Abraham 
Lincoln  was  born,  the  manufacture  of  cotton  goods  began. 

Peter  Dobson  was  a  remarkable  man.  He  was  born  in  Black- 
burn, England,  and  emigrated  to  America  when  he  was  25  years 
old.  Settling  in  Vernon,  his  house  was  the  third  from  the  corner  on 
Route  30,  near  Dobsonville  school  house,  he  was  the  first  to  show 
a  manufacturing  interest  there.  He  set  up  the  first  cotton  spin- 
ning machinery  in  the  town.  A  genius  in  manufacturing,  he  had 
had  great  difficulty  in  getting  out  of  England.  There  were  strin- 
gent laws  in  those  days,  preventing  skilled  manufacturers  from 
emigrating.  Mr.  Dobson  was  carefully  hidden  in  a  hogshead  which 
was  rolled  on  board  ship.  It  was  bored  full  of  gimlet  holes  to 
give  him  fresh  air.  After  the  ship  had  sailed  out  of  the  harbor, 
he  was  released  from  his  unpleasant  and  uncomfortable  surround- 
ings. It  was  this  kind  of  ingenuity  that  marked  his  New  England 

While  Peter  Dobson  was  constructing  a  building  in  the  ravine, 
he  began  work  with  Samuel  Slater  in  Warburton's  mill  (later  Tal- 
cott  Brothers  and  now  Aldon  Mills.)  These  two  men  were  among 
the  first  to  operate  cotton  mills  in  America.  Indeed,  Samuel 
Slater  is  known  as  the  father  of  cotton  manufacturing.  While  at 
Warburton's  mill,  Mr.  Dobson  spun  cotton  vai*n  from  raw  stock 
carded  by  Alexander  McLean  in  one  of  the  Warburton  mill  build- 
ings. The  yarn  was  given  out  to  neighborhood  housewives  who, 
using  cumbersome  looms,  wove  the  cloth  by  hand  under  Peter 
Dobson's  guidance.     He  was  the  first  manufacturer  to  create  his 





own  designs,  and,  under  his  tutelage,  a  variety  of  cloth,  including 
shirtings,  sheetings,  tickings,  diaper  cloth,  checks,  and  ginghams 
was  created. 

While  excavating  for  the  foundation  of  his  cotton  factory  he 
was  greatly  intrigued  by  the  abraded  condition  of  many  of  the 
boulders.  This  unusual  condition  Mr.  Dobson  attributed  to  their 
being  suspended  and  carried  in  ice  over  rocks  and  earth  and  under 
water.  He  addressed  a  letter  to  the  London  Geological  Society 
in  which  he  advanced  the  theory  that  the  boulders  of  New  Eng- 
land had  been  abraded  bv  moving  glaciers  in  some  pre-historic 

In  an  Anniversary  address  before  the  London  Geological  So- 
ciety in  1842,  Sir  Robert  Murchison  gave  credit  to  Peter  Dobson  as 
"the  original  author  of  the  best  glacial  theory."     He  said: 

"His  clear,  short  and  modest  statement  entitled,  'Re- 
marks on  Boulders'  contains  the  essence  of  the  modified 
glacial  theory  at  which  we  have  arrived  after  so  much 
debate.  His  calculations  were  based  on  boulders  wei^h- 
ing  up  to  15  tons,  dug  out  of  clay  and  gravel,  when  making 
the  foundations  for  his  own  cotton  factorv  in  Vernon." 

It  is  remarkable  that  this  Vernon  manufacturer  should  gain  such 
renown  for  the  advancement  of  such  an  important  geological  theory. 

The  Ravine  Mills,  a  title  as  casual  as  a  timetable,  were  readv 
by  1811,  and  with  the  help  of  a  common  blacksmith  and  a  joiner, 
Peter  Dobson  had  two  mules  of  192  spindles  each  to  put  into 
operation  for  weaving.  He  set  up  and  ran  a  cold  indigo  vat  pro- 
ducing a  fast  blue  color  for  checks  and  stripes.  It  was  not  un- 
common for  whole  families  to  be  outfitted  in  the  same  blue  and 
white  cloth.  This  mill  made  pants,  vests,  coats  and  overcoats  for 
men  and  boys,  and  coats  and  sometimes  dresses  for  the  women. 

In  religion  Peter  Dobson  was  a  free  thinker,  in  politics  a  demo- 
crat, in  social  relations  an  estimable  citizen  of  the  strictest  integrity 
and  the  highest  sense  of  honor.  His  mind  was  like  a  reservoir,  wel- 
coming the  rain,  ever  eager  to  serve  a  larger  purpose.  He  died 
at  his  home  in  Vernon  at  the  age  of  93  vears,  and  Dobsonville  is 
named  after  him. 


In  this  same  period,  a  man  named  Delano  Abbott,  a  farmer, 
who  lived  in  a  house  situated  next  to  the  old  Vernon   Railroad 



*  •**  *  V  ,' 



Depot  and  now  torn  down,  purchased  in  Nichols  Store  near  the 
ferry  in  East  Hartford  a  wool  jacket.  Obtaining  more  of  the  ma- 
terial, he  took  a  scrap  of  the  cloth  to  Peter  Dobson.  Unravelling 
it,  they  studied  its  design  and  weave.  Delano  Abbott  persuaded 
Peter  Dobson  to  make  a  billey  for  roping  and  a  jenney  for  spin- 
ning and  other  preparations  for  the  manufacture  of  this  light- 
weight wool  cloth.  This  led  to  the  making  of  satinet,  the  begin- 
ning of  woolen  manufacture  in  the  town  of  Vernon,  in  the  year 

Delano  Abbott  operated  this  simple  machinery  in  his  home, 
introducing  the  making  of  satinet  in  the  United  States.  The  busi- 
ness became  somewhat  encouraging,  and  being  a  little  straitened 
for  room  in  the  house,  as  well  as  to  secure  water  power,  the  ma- 
chinery was  removed  to  a  shop  erected  on  a  little  brook  running 
at  the  rear  of  the  dwelling  later  owned  by  Lewis  A.  Corbin.  About 
this  time  Doctor  Scottoway  Hinckley  also  engaged  in  manufactur- 
ing the  same  kind  of  goods.  These,  without  doubt,  were  the  initial 
steps  in  the  manufacture  of  satinets — leading  to  the  distinctive  busi- 
ness of  Rockville's  woolen  manufacturing. 

Ultimately  Colonel  McLean  and  Doctor  Hinckley  became  as- 
sociated with  Mr.  Abbott  in  the  business.  This  was  the  day  of 
small  things,  no  doubt,  and  this  was  a  small  enterprise,  but  it  led 
directly  to  the  permanent  establishment  of  woolen  manufacturing 
in  Rockville. 

Eighteen-hundred-and-fourteen  witnessed  the  introduction  of 
the  manufacture  of  satinets  in  Rockville.  Ebenezer  Nash,  a  nephew 
of  Delano  Abbott,  who  during  the  war  manufactured  wood  screws 
at  a  place  near  Thompsons'  Wadding  Mill,  found  at  the  close  of 
the  war  of  1812  that  his  occupation  was  gone,  and  stimulated  by 
the  success  of  his  uncle  Abbott,  also  decided  to  set  about  the  man- 
ufacture of  satinets.  Choosing  his  location  in  the  north  part  of 
the  town  of  Vernon,  which  was  then  a  wild  glen  of  rocks  and 
decayed  hemlocks  and  underbrush,  he  erected  a  small  building  on 
the  site  of  the  old  Hockanum  mill.  Here  he  started  two  sets  of 
cards,  some  spinning  machinery  and  a  few  hand  looms.  Some 
machinery  was  also  placed  and  operated  in  an  ell  part  of  his 
dwelling  house,  which  is  now  standing,  and  well  known  by  old 
residents  as  the  Simon  Tracy  house.  It  is  the  second  house  west 
of  the  bridge  on  Windsor  Avenue,  on  the  north  side  of  the  street. 
Mr.  Nash  lost  his  mill  by  fire.  A  new  companv  was  formed,  con- 
sisting of  Ebenezer  Nash,  John  Mather  and  Lebbeus  B.  Tinker, 




who  built  the  one,  and  afterwards  the  other  of  the  so-called  "twin 
mills."  One  of  these  mills  still  stands.  This  establishment  con- 
stituted the  total  of  woolen  manufacturing  in  Rockville  until  the 
year  1821. 

The  Ravine  mills  continued  to  manufacture  woolen  goods, 
first  under  its  founder,  then  under  the  leadership  of  Peter  Dobson 
and  his  son  John.  It  was  later  purchased  by  Hilliard  and  Smith 
who  made  flock  shoddy  and  wool  extracts.  In  1882  Jesse  Smith 
assumed  the  business  and  in  1886  Hilliard  &  Company  took  pos- 
session. It  eventually  came  into  the  hands  of  Miner  White.  On 
October  12,  1909,  very  early  in  the  morning,  the  Ravine  Mills 
burned  and  were  never  rebuilt. 

Peter  Dobson  and  his  son  built  another  mill  next  to  the  bridge 
in  Vernon.  This  burned,  but  they  rebuilt  it  in  1873.  This  mill 
was  used  for  making  cotton  warp  and  sewing  twine,  and  later  for 
cheesecloth  and  tobacco  cloth  for  shade-grown  tobacco.  A  num- 
ber of  people  were  employed  there,  and  what  is  now  Campbell 
Avenue  was  then  a  footpath  through  the  woods  used  by  employees 
going  to  and  from  work.  The  mill  passed  into  John  Dobson's 
hands  and  later  into  the  ownership  of  Rienzi  Parker  and  John 
Parker,  who  later  sold  it  to  Paul  Ackerly.  During  Mr.  Ackerly's 
ownership  a  large  brick  section  was  added  to  the  building.     In 


addition  to  its  manufacturing  uses,  this  brick  section  was  often  the 
scene  of  a  Community  Christmas  party  or  a  children's  party  given 
through  the  courtesy  of  Mr.  Ackerly.  in  the  late  1920s  Mr.  Ack- 
erly  removed  his  business  to  Georgia,  and  the  property  passed 
into  the  hands  of  Talcott  Brothers,  For  a  long  time  the  buildings 
lay  idle,  and  then  in  the  late  1930's  they  were  torn  down. 

Another  mill  which  later  became  a  branch  of  these  mills  was 
the  one  known  as  the  Phoenix  mill  on  what  is  known  now  as 
Phoenix  Street,  opposite  the  end  of  Maple  Street,  Vernon.  It  was 
established  by  Stephen  Fuller.  Discovering  a  beaver  dam  there, 
he  decided  to  make  use  of  it  as  water  power.  Colonel  McLean 
purchased  it  in  1808,  and  built  a  saw  mill  there.  He  also  moved 
a  grist  mill  from  its  location  near  Frederick  Walker's  mill,  some- 
where in  the  Valley  Falls  District,  and  an  oil  mill  from  East  Hart- 
ford. Later  this  last-mentioned  building  was  removed  to  Rock- 
ville  and  used  by  the  New  England  Company  as  a  wheel  house. 
Colonel  Francis  McLean  sold  the  mills  to  William  Baker  and 
Harvey  W.  Miner,  and  in  1836  they  sold  to  a  company  known  as 
the  Phoenix  Mills  Company  who  built  the  largest  of  the  buildings 
and  manufactured  cotton  warp.  In  1879,  the  business  was  pur- 
chased by  James  Campbell  and  Rienzi  Parker,  who  at  that  time 
also  ran  the  Dobsonville  mill.  The  Phoenix  Mills  continued  to  be 
a  branch  of  the  Dobsonville  mills.  In  the  latter  years  of  Mr.  Ack- 
erly's  ownership,  the  Phoenix  Mills  were  used  only  as  a  storehouse, 
and  in  the  late  1920's  the  buildings  burned  and  were  never  rebuilt. 




A  small  mill  on  East  Main  Street,  Rockville,  where  the  Min- 
terburn  Mill  now  stands,  was  built  as  early  as  the  middle  of  the 
18th  century.  Here,  too,  was  a  blast  furnace  and  iron  foundry. 
There  was  nothing  pretentious  about  the  iron  works,  but  we  know 
that  in  conjunction  with  Phelps'  furnace  at  Stafford  Hollow,  can- 
non balls  were  made  during  the  Revolutionary  War.  Indeed,  while 
George  Washington  prayed  on  his  knees  for  victory  at  Valley  Forge, 
strong  and  loyal  citizens  in  these  small  factories  answered  his 
petitions  with  gun  barrels  and  locks  for  musket  guns  carried  by 
the  Army. 

And  the  skill  and  competency  of  these  workmen  matched 
their  patriotism.  Because  of  unusual  ability,  a  certain  Mr.  Foote 
became  superintendent  of  the  Springfield  Armory  in  Massachusetts 
and  a  Mr.  Nash  was  engaged  in  an  equally  important  position  at 
the  arsenal  at  Harper's  Ferry. 

Leonard  Chapman,  an  early  settler  here,  and  a  member  of  a 
large  family  of  iron  workers,  has  left  on  record  the  following 

"My  brother  Abrel  was  employed  as  an  armorer  at  the 
old  iron  works  in  Rockville.  I  visited  the  works  many 
times.  There  was  a  forge  and  a  trip-hammer,  which  were 
used  to  weld  scrap  iron  for  gun  barrels.  There  were  a 
great  many  damaged  barrels  and  bayonets  among  the 
scrap  iron.  At  that  time  the  barrels  were  taken  to  Spring- 
field to  be  bored  and  stocked." 


Francis  McLean,  born  September  26,  1777,  at  Vernon,  was  the 
genius  who  built  the  first  important  mill  in  Rockville  for  the  mak- 
ing of  satinets.  Having  sufficiently  matured  his  plans  for  a  large 
factory  in  the  spring  of  1821,  he  purchased  land  of  the  Grant  heirs 
and  formed  a  partnership  with  George  Kellogg,  Allen  Kellogg  and 
Ralph  Talcott.  All  energies  were  bent  to  the  task  of  building  with 
their  own  teams  and  their  own  brawny  arms  a  solid  stone  dam 
across  the  stream  which  would  stand  as  an  enduring  structure  of 
strength,  if  not  of  beauty,  and  they  won  their  way  toilsomely  with 
heavy  oxen  and  clumsy  carts. 





The  canal  called  in  those  days  "McLean's  Ditch"  was  dug,  the 
wheel  pit  located  and  the  power  determined  by  simple  but  accu- 
rate processes.  There  were  no  mechanical  miracles  then.  Spirit 
levels  and  delicate  precise  mathematical  instruments  were  not  yet 
in  use,  but  a  marvelous  ingenuity  supplied  their  place.  A  level 
was  improvised  by  taking  a  piece  of  scantling  six  or  eight  feet  in 
length,  with  one  straight  edge  and  grooved  to  hold  water.  And 
with  this  level  on  the  shoulder  and  a  bottle  of  water  in  the  pocket 
plus  a  skill  uncanny  and  a  tenacity  incredible,  Francis  McLean 
made  his  wheel. 

In  the  meantime  timber  was  cut  from  the  adjacent  hillsides, 
and  the  building  was  erected  without  delay,  80  feet  long  and  30 
feet  wide,  and  three  stories  high,  which  was  regarded  as  a  mam- 
moth building  a  century  ago. 

Nature  immediately  challenged  the  stability  of  the  structure, 
for  the  night  after  the  factory  was  raised  there  came  a  very  de- 
structive storm — a  cyclone — which  extended  from  northern  Mas- 
sachusetts down  through  Central  Connecticut.  The  Rock  factory 
stood  the  test  and  within  a  year  three  sets  of  woolen  machinery 





were  at  work  making  satinets — blue  and  blue  mixed,  and  black 
mixed.  Condensers,  jacks  and  power  looms  were  unknown  until 
1823,  and  even  then  were  so  imperfect  that  Win.  T.  Coggswell  and 
David  Beach,  local  carpenters,  were  able  to  improve  upon  them 
with  a  loom  which  was  purchased  by  many  mills. 

A  brief  chronicle  penned  by  a  native  of  Tolland,  Dr.  William 
A.  Grover,  living  in  the  sunset  of  his  life  at  San  Francisco,  described 
vividly  this  Rock  Mill: 

"I  well  remember  when  Colonel  Francis  McLean 
commenced  and  built  the  factory  called  the  Rock  factory 
of  Vernon,  Tolland  County,  Connecticut,  for  the  reason 
that  my  father  had  the  contract  for  building  the  same.  It 
was  built  of  chestnut  timber,  hewed  and  framed  at  our 
house  in  Tolland,  carried  to  what  is  now  known  as  Rock- 
ville,  and  put  together.  It  was  an  exceedingly  plain  build- 
ing, without  any  ornamentation  whatever  and  painted  red. 
It  was  an  exceedingly  lonely  place,  and  there  was  not  an- 
other building  from  Payne's  mill  to  the  Rock  building  in 
the  vicinity  except  a  few  buildings  for  the  accommodation 
of  the  laborers.  It  was  the  commencement  of  the  great 
and  beautiful  city  of  Rockville,  and  Colonel  McLean  was 
looked  upon  as  the  enterprising  pioneer  of  that  now  beau- 
tiful city.  I  have  no  means  of  giving  the  exact  date  of 
the  building,  but  there  was  neither  a  mill  nor  the  ground 
broken  for  one  in  the  vicinity.  For  the  sake  of  water 
power  it  was  built  in  a  deep  ravine,  and  the  picture  of 
the  rapid  stream  with  its  falls  as  it  poured  over  the  pre- 
cipitous rocks,  the  deep  gorge  surrounded  on  all  sides  by 
sunny  hills,  with  the  red  mill  in  the  center,  has  never  been 
erased  from  my  memory.  There  was  a  man  bv  the  name 
of  Phineas  Talcott  who  used  to  come  to  my  father's  house 
on  business  relating  to  this  mill.  He  might  have  been 
connected  with  the  Colonel  in  this  enterprise,  but  we  al- 
ways regarded  the  Colonel  as  the  pioneer  and  moving 
spirit  of  the  whole  matter." 

Pioneer  Francis  McLean  was  a  versatile  man.  He  had  in- 
numerable facets  of  interest.  He  built  the  Frank  Mill  largely  from 
the  timbers  of  the  First  Church  in  Vernon;  erected  a  paper  mill 
and  three  houses;  surveyed  and  laid  out  the  road  from  the  paper 
mill  to  Ellington;  straightened  the  road  from  Ellington  to  Vernon; 
improved  the  roads  from  Vernon  to  the  Coventry  line,  and  from 




Dobson's  factory,  later  Centerville,  to  Minor  Preston's  house.  His 
favorite  studies  were  arithmetic  and  surveying.  He  taught  school 
at  the  age  of  17,  distinguished  himself  in  military  training,  and  was 
the  father  of  13  children. 

Full  of  energy,  life  and  ambition,  he  remained  in  the  harness 
until  the  age  of  77.  He  did  not  shirk  military  duty  and  was  but 
18  when  he  started  in.     As  he  tells  it: 

"I  was  a  soldier  first,  then  was  chosen  corporal,  then 
sergeant,  then  orderly  sergeant,  then  ensign,  then  lieuten- 
ant, then  captain,  then  major,  and  then  colonel.  I  went 
too  fast  from  one  office  to  another  for  my  own  good.  I 
was  captain  of  a  company  eight  years,  was  major  two  years, 
commanded  a  regiment,  the  seventh  company  as  Colonel 
one  year." 

In  the  year  1846,  the  Rock  Company  built  a  new  mill  for 
the  manufacturing  of  cassimere,  still  continuing  to  run  for  a  while 
the  old  mill,  but  it  had  nearly  done  its  work — its  shell  indeed  was 
sound,  but  its  vital  energies  had  well  nigh  given  out,  and  conse- 
quently in  1851,  it  slowly  and  gracefully  retired  into  obscurity, 
giving  place  to  an  extension  of  the  more  pretentious  new  mill. 




In  Talcottville  was  begun  one  among  the  earliest  manufac- 
turing enterprises  of  the  country.  "Warburton's  mill,"  which  com- 
menced in  1795,  was  widely  known  and  celebrated  all  over  this  sec- 
tion of  New  England  for  its  eagerly  sought  stocking  yarns  and 
thread.  John  Warburton  was  an  Englishman,  and  came  to  America 
in  1792  from  the  same  English  town  as  Peter  Dobson,  Blackburn. 
The  method  by  which  he  built  his  mill  illustrates  that  he  was  un- 
afraid to  work. 


He  used  what  money  he  had  in  the  building  and  machinery, 
expecting  that  the  people  would  render  him  assistance  in  building 
the  dam,  but  they,  not  believing  that  he  would  succeed,  would  not 
help  him,  and  he  was  obliged  to  move  the  gravel  necessary  to 
complete  it  with  a  shovel  and  wheelbarrow.  His  next  trouble  was 
to  obtain  help.  He  lived  in  the  mill  because  he  was  not  able  to 
rent  a  house,  and  to  relieve  his  wife  from  the  care  of  the  babies 
and  give  her  an  opportunity  to  spin  cotton,  he  built  a  large  cradle 
with  machinery  for  rocking  it.  This  new  way  of  caring  for  babies 
so  interested  the  people  of  the  neighborhood  that  many  visited 
the  mill  to  witness  the  operation  of  this  new  piece  of  equipment. 
John  was  a  self-winding  model  of  versatility.  The  yarn  which  he 
spun  was  in  great  demand.  His  sales  yielded  a  large  profit,  and 
money  was  plentiful  with  him  for  the  first  time  in  his  life.  Two 
large  brick  Warburton  houses  still  stand  in  Talcottville.  The  one 
on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  conspicuous  for  its  four  chimneys,  was 


built  in  1810.  and  became  the  Warburton  Inn,  but  was  abandoned 
many  rears  ago.  Warburton's  son,  John,  built  the  second  a  few 
years  later  on  the  west  side  of  the  river.  This  was  sold  four  years 
ago  bv  John  Talcott,  Jr.,  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Michael  C.  Sullivan,  who 
have  thoroughlv  remodelled  it. 

John  Warburton  was  of  a  liberal  and  somewhat  convivial  dis- 
position, and  was  accustomed  to  dispense  his  free  hospitalities  in 
the  most  profuse  manner,  a  hogshead  of  Jamaica  rum  being  at  one 
time  kept  on  tap  in  an  open  shed  by  the  roadside,  free  to  all 
comers.  This  stvle  of  living,  however,  undermined  his  success  as 
well  as  his  health. 

In  1804,  he  had  built  a  shop  and  started  some  wool  carding 
machines  on  the  lower  privilege,  and  in  1809  he  sold  his  entire  mill 
propertv  to  Colonel  Francis  McLean,  Lebbeus  B.  Tinker.  Irad 
Fuller  and  Alexander  McLean,  who  operated  the  works  through 
the  "War  of  1812.  when  thev  sold  it  to  Thomas  Bull  of  Hartford. 
Of  him.  X.  O.  Kellogg,  Esq..  bought  the  lower  privilege  and  wool 
carding  works  in  1817.  and  afterwards  the  upper  privilege  and  mill 
in  1833  of  Henrv  Hudson  of  Hartford.  Mr.  Kellogg  began  to  spin 
woolen  varn  and  weave  bv  hand  in  1819,  and  in  1822  introduced 
power  looms. 

It  has  been  difficult  to  unravel  the  mysteries  of  the  Warbur- 
ton familv  because  there  were  at  least  two  John  Warburtons  and 
at  least  three  Mary  Warburtons.  The  family  relationships  seem 
to  be  as  follows.  The  John  Warburton.  who  came  from  England 
in  1792  and  settled  in  Vernon,  was  born  in  1772.  He  apparentlv 
brought  his  mother  with  him,  for  a  Man7  Booth  Warburton  died 
in  1811,  aged  72  vears.  John  married  a  Man'  A.  Warburton  about 
the  time  of  his  arrival  in  this  countrv.  We  have  a  record  of  the 
death  of  a  Betsev  Warburton,  aged  4,  daughter  of  John  and  Mary 
Warburton  in  1797.  To  further  complicate  matters,  thev  had  a 
son  John  (with  no  distinguishing  middle  initial!)  who  also  married 
a  Man-  (Smith).  Our  first  John  died  in  1810,  and  his  wife  Mary 
apparentlv  went  to  St.  Louis  with  her  son  John,  and  Man'  Smith 
Warburton.  returned  to  Hartford  in  1833.  This  Man-  A.  War- 
burton died  in  Hartford  in  1844. 

The  name  of  Warburton  is  memorialized  in  a  chapel  building 
in  Hartford.  Connecticut.  In  1865  Mrs.  Mary  Smith  Warburton, 
wife  of  John  Warburton,  the  son  of  John  Warburton,  the  English- 
man who  settled  in  Vernon,  built,  at  a  cost  of  $18,298,  a  chapel  on 
Temple   Street,   on   land  purchased  by  the  subscriptions  of  indi- 





vidual  members  of  the  First  Church  for  $3,450.  In  1873,  an  exten- 
sion of  Warburton  Chapel,  a  building  designed  for  the  use  of  the 
primary  department  of  the  church  school,  was  made. 

Warburton  Chapel  is  now  St.  Anthony's  Mission  and  still  stands 
on  Temple  Street.  It  shines  in  a  dark  place,  and  its  beams  guide 
many  to  useful  careers. 


The  upper  mill  of  Talcott  Brothers  was  built  in  1834  and  de- 
molished by  the  freshet  October  4,  1869,  and  the  lower  mill  was 
burned  in  the  same  year.  Thereupon  the  two  water  privileges  were 
consolidated  and  a  new  mill  erected. 

The  name  of  Talcott  has  long  been  a  prominent  one.  The 
family  all  descended  from  John  Talcott,  who  came  from  England. 
He  came  to  Boston  with  others  of  Reverend  Thomas  Hooker's  fam- 
ily. Joseph  Talcott,  one  of  the  descendants  of  John  Talcott,  was 
chosen  governor  of  Connecticut  in  1725  and  held  that  office  for 
17  years. 

The  village,  known  as  Kelloggville  in  the  earlv  days  having 
been  purchased  by  Hon.  N.  O.  Kellogg  in  1856  for  Horace  W.  and 
Charles  Denison  Talcott,  is  included  in  the  town  of  Vernon.  The 
appearance  is  always  immaculate  with  mill,  store,  dwellings  of 
puritanical  whiteness. 

The  manufacture  of  union  cassimeres  was  carried  on  here  for 
many  years.  A  stock  company  was  organized  in  1856,  with  Talcott 
families  and  their  heirs  being  the  stockholders.  The  product  was 
principally  satinets  up  to  1875,  when  a  change  was  made  to  union 
cassimeres.  In  1907,  a  grade  of  fine  woolens  was  added  to  the 
line.  In  1882,  H.  G.  Talcott  became  general  manager,  and  M.  H. 
Talcott  became  associate  manager.  John  G.  Talcott  entered  the 
firm  in  1895  and  C.  Denison  Talcott  in  1903. 

The  Talcotts  first  became  interested  in  the  mill,  which  had 
originally  been  owned  by  the  Kellogg  family,  when  Horace  G.  Tal- 
cott went  to  work  there  in  1856.  He  later  induced  his  brother, 
the  late  C.  Denison  Talcott,  to  give  up  school  teaching  and  join 
him  in  the  manufacturing  business.  The  Talcott  Brothers  eventu- 
ally  bought  the  interest  of  Mr.  Kellogg. 

During  the  Civil  War  the  company  manufactured  blankets  for 
the  soldiers  of  the  Northern  Army.  The  village  of  Talcottville  grew 
up  around  the  mill.     Following  the  deaths  of  the  older  Talcotts, 


the  mill  was  managed  by  the  present  C.  Denison  Talcott  and  his 
cousin,  the  late  John  G.  Talcott.  The  latter  manufactured  fine 
woolen  goods  and  the  business  prospered  until  the  depression  of 

A  few  years  ago  C.  Denison  Talcott  sold  his  interest  in  the 
village  houses  to  John  G.  Talcott,  Jr. 

The  mills  successfully  operated  for  many  years  by  the  Talcott 
family  were  purchased  in  1950  by  the  Nodevac  Realty  Corporation 
of  Woonsocket,  Rhode  Island.  (Nodevac  spelled  in  reverse  is 
Cavedon"),  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Alfred  Cavedon  being  the  principals  with 
Sidney  Silverstein  as  officers  of  the  Aldon  Spinning  Mills  Corpora- 
tion, and  organized  under  the  laws  of  the  State  of  Connecticut  on 
January  15,  1951,  with  the  following  comprising  the  Board  of 
Directors : 

President — Gladys  K.  Cavedon,  Manchester. 
Treasurer — Gladys  K.  Cavedon,  Manchester. 
Secretary— Sidney    Silverstein,    Woonsocket,    Rhode 
Island,   with    Carl   W.    Christianson,    of    Slatersville, 
Rhode  Island,  a  member  of  the  Board. 

The  plant  has  since  1951  been  operated  by  the  textile  companv 
registered  with  the  Secretary  of  State  as  the  Aldon  Spinning  Mills 
Corporation,  occupying  mill  buildings,  land  and  water  power.  The 
reported  purchase  price  paid  for  the  property  is  $150,000. 

Several  major  changes  and  improvements  have  been  made  by 
the  Aldon  Company  since  operations  were  started  in  1951. 


Colonel  McLean,  having  closed  his  connection  with  the  Rock 
Mill,  straightway  went  at  another  enterprise  with  characteristic 
energy  and  success.  Taking  with  him  Alonzo  Bailey,  who  in  1823 
had  come  from  Columbia,  Connecticut,  to  Rockville,  with  his  ward- 
robe under  his  arm,  and  who  since  that  time  had  been  the  "blue 
dyer"  at  the  Rock,  organized  a  Company,  and  built  the  Frank  Mill 
in  1831.  The  frame  work  of  a  portion  of  this  mill  was  originally 
the  frame  of  the  Vernon  Meeting  House.  The  Colonel  had  an 
idea  of  a  certain  fitness  in  moral  equilibrium  and  therefore  trans- 
ported his  "gin  still"  buildings,  and  they  became  barns,  tenements, 

The  new  Frank  Mill  started  with  six  sets  on  cassimere  in  1847. 
The  mill  was  architecturally  the  finest  building  at  the  time  in  the 



village  but  was  consumed  by  fire  in  September,  1851.  A  still  finer 
and  larger  building  was  erected  on  its  site  in  1864,  which  became 
the  Florence  Mill. 


Just  east  of  the  business  center  of  the  city  stood  the  American 
Mills,  one  of  Rockville's  industrial  landmarks.  The  goods  manu- 
factured have  figured  prominently  in  bringing  fame  to  Rockville  as 
the  home  of  fine  woolens  and  worsteds.  In  addition  to  its  regular 
line  of  the  fancy  worsteds  for  men's  wear,  the  Company  manufac- 
tured standard  and  fancy  carriage  cloths  of  most  novel  effects  in 
fancy  weaves  and  beautiful  colorings  in  whip  cords,  Bedford  cords, 
wide  and  narrow  wales  and  diagonals. 

The  year  1847  witnessed  the  building  of  the  American  Mill 
by  Phineas  Talcott.     Mr.  Talcott  was  distinctly  a  man  of  affairs. 



As  agent  of  the  Rock  Mill,  president  of  the  railroad  company  and 
of  the  Savings  Bank,  he  was  a  splendid  example  of  the  powerful 
virtues  of  our  fathers. 

When  the  American  Mills  were  built  the  lumber  was  brought 
from  Fulton,  New  York  to  Rockville.  Here  it  was  framed  on  School 
Street,  on  the  school  yard,  and  set  up  in  the  presence  of  many  on- 


A  paper  mill  was  built  in  1833.  Colonel  McLean  was  part 
owner,  out  the  venture  was  unsuccessful  with  a  loss  of  $13,001). 
In  the  panic  of  1837  he  lost  heavily  by  signing  papers  for  others. 
This  grim  epic  of  adversity  he  overcame  by  courage  and  deter- 
mination, endurance  and  adaptability. 

The  building  was  103  feet  long  by  38  feet  wide,  brick  and 
stone,  basement  IV2  story,  posts  of  wood.  It  contained  four  en- 
gines that  carried  125  pounds  of  rags  each,  also  one  64-inch  Four- 
drinier  machine.  The  mill  contained  other  necessary  machines, 
presses,  boiler,  etc.,  for  making  paper  for  books  and  other  printing 
material.  Sixteen  hundred  pounds  was  considered  a  fair  days 
work,  the  engines  running  24  hours.  There  were  two  houses  of 
two  tenements  each  for  the  use  of  the  paper  mill,  one  still  stand- 
ing. The  first  name  of  the  establishment  was  "Falls  Company," 
afterwards  incorporated  under  the  name  of  "Vernon  Company." 
The  mill  continued  to  run  until  1840.  It  then  made  an  assignment 
of  all  its  effects  for  the  benefit  of  creditors. 

It  was  one  of  the  earliest  paper  mills  in  Connecticut  and  was 
erected  on  the  site  later  occupied  by  the  Belding  Silk  Mill.  It  was 
owned  by  Hale  Brothers,  proprietors  of  the  New  York  Journal  of 
Commerce.  For  years,  the  paper  upon  which  the  New  York  Jour- 
nal of  Commerce  was  printed  was  furnished  by  this  mill.  J.  N. 
Stickney,  who  married  one  of  Mr.  Hale's  daughters,  was  manager 
of  the  paper  mill  here. 


The  Springville  Manufacturing  Company  was  nearly  contem- 
poraneous with  the  Rock  Manufacturing  Company.  Though  one 
of  the  smallest  of  the  woolen  industries  of  Rockville,  it  was  one 
of  the  most  successful. 

The  stoiy  of  the  beginning  and  development  of  the  Spring- 
ville Manufacturing  Company  is  the  story  of  Chauncey  Wmchell 
who  was  born  February  25,  1796,  in  Berlin,  Connecticut.  His  par- 
ents being  poor  and  having  a  large  family,  he  was  hired  out  to  a 
farmer  by  his  father  until  he  was  17  years  old,  his  father  taking  his 
wages.  Trained  in  habits  of  industry,  economy  and  self-reliance, 
he  developed  a  vigorous  physical  constitution. 

In  his  seventeenth  year  he  went  to  Manchester,  Connecticut, 
and  obtained  work  in  a  mill  in  the  village  of  Buckland,  working 
there  several  years,  learning  the  trade  of  a  mill-wright. 

In  the  spring  of  1829,  Mr.  Winchell  came  to  Rockville  and  in 
partnership  with  Willard  and  Halsey  Fuller  on  the  1st  of  April, 
1829,  bought  from  Francis  McLean  his  oil  mill,  then  located  on  the 
mill  privilege  later  occupied  by  the  New  England  Company.  This 
mill  like  many  at  that  period  in  different  parts  of  New  England 
was  for  grinding  flax  seed  to  make  linseed  oil.  In  it  Mr.  McLean 
manufactured  linseed  oil  about  three  years.  On  its  purchase  by  the 
Messrs.  Fuller  and  Winchell,  it  was  equipped  with  cotton  ma- 
chinery, carding,  spinning  and  warping,  and  was  at  once  devoted 




to  making  warps  for  satinets.  Willard  and  Halsey  Fuller  were 
both  practical  cotton  spinners  and  devoted  their  personal  time  and 
labor  to  the  mill.  Mr.  Winchell,  besides  investing  some  capital, 
aided  such  work  in  construction  and  in  repairs  as  he  was  competent 
to  do.  On  the  28th  day  of  February,  1832,  he  sold  his  interest  to 
Halsey  Fuller  and  on  the  4th  of  July,  1832,  in  association  with 
Alonzo  Bailey,  Christopher  Burdick  and  Isaac  L.  Sanford,  pur- 
chased the  property  afterwards  known  as  the  Springville  mill. 

Christopher  Burdick  had  recently  come  to  the  village  and  was 
employed  at  his  trade  as  a  machinist  in  the  machine  shop  of  the 
Rock  Manufacturing  Company.  Isaac  L.  Sanford  was  a  practical 
woolen  manufacturer.  The  business  was  conducted  at  first  as  a 
partnership  under  the  style  of  the  Springville  Maufacturing  Com- 
pany. Alonzo  Bailey  was  the  responsible  manager  of  the  business 
and  Isaac  L.  Sanford  was  the  superintendent  of  the  mill. 

The  original  mill  was  a  small  building  thirty  feet  long  and 
twenty  feet  wide,  having  a  basement  of  brick  and  two  stories  of 
wood.  It  was  torn  down  on  the  purchase  of  the  property  by  the 
Springville  Company  the  last  of  the  original  mill  structures  of 
Rockville,  after  an  existence  of  sixty-five  years. 

At  the  May  session  of  the  State  Legislature  for  1833,  an  act  of 
incorporation  was  granted  to  the  proprietors,  the  style  of  the  firm 
being  retained  as  the  name  of  the  company  and  the  capital  author- 
ized being  $100,000.  On  the  first  of  October,  1833,  the  individual 
proprietors  conveyed  their  personal  interest  in  the  mill  and  other 
property  to  the  Springville  Manufacturing  Company  for  the  aggre- 
gate sum  of  $4,800  and  on  the  12th  of  the  same  month,  the  or- 
ganization was  completed  by  the  election  of  its  officers,  Chauncey 
Winchell  being  elected  President,  and  Alonzo  Bailey,  Agent  and 
Secretary.  The  salary  of  the  latter  was  fixed  for  the  first  year  at 
$1.25  a  day  and  board. 

The  capital  stock  was  $4,800  in  twelve  shares  of  $400  each. 
Alonzo  Bailey  subscribed  for  four  shares,  Chauncey  Winchell,  four 
shares,  Christopher  Burdick  for  two  shares,  and  Isaac  L.  Sanford 
for  two  shares.  The  success  which  attended  the  early  operations 
of  the  company  may  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  for  the  first 
three  years  after  the  organization  of  the  company,  dividends  were 
declared,  in  January,  1835,  $125  per  share,  in  January,  1836,  $325 
per  share,  in  January,  1837,  $600  per  share,  an  aggregate  in  three 
years  of  $1050  per  share,  or  two-hundred  and  sixty-two  and  a  half 
per  cent. 


In  1838,  a  new  mill  was  erected,  85  feet  long,  34  feet  wide, 
basement  stone,  first  story,  brick,  and  two  stories  of  wood.  Alonzo 
Bailey  acted  as  agent  and  treasurer  till  January,  1860. 

In  1844,  Chauncey  Winchell  became  superintendent  of  the 
Springville  mill  and  held  that  office  until  1849.  He  was  succeeded 
in  the  office  by  his  son,  Cyrus  Winchell,  who  was  born  in  Man- 
chester, Connecticut,  in  1821. 

At  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Springville  Manufacturing  Com- 
pany in  1860,  Alonzo  Bailey  declined  a  re-election  as  agent  and 
treasurer,  and  on  the  25th  of  January  of  that  year,  sold  all  his  shares 
of  stock.  Cyrus  Winchell  was  elected  at  the  same  meeting  agent 
and  treasurer,  and  held  both  offices  until  the  transfer  of  the  prop- 
erty and  franchise  of  the  corporation  to  the  Hockanum  Company, 
which  was  made  in  January,  1886.  Chauncey  Winchell  held  the 
office  of  president  during  its  whole  history  of  more  than  fifty-two 
years.  His  home  still  stands  at  the  corner  of  West  Main  Street 
and  Orchard  Street,  and  the  old  Springville  Mill  may  still  be  seen, 
pushed  unceremoniously  back  into  the  rear. 


The  "twin  mills,"  built  by  Ebenezer  Nash  and  Delano  Abbott 
became  the  Hockanum  Mills  which  was  organized  May  31,  1836. 
The  original  incorporators  were:  Lebbeus  P.  Tinker,  President; 
Alonzo  Bailey,  Secretary;  Austin  Holt,  Agent;  Ralph  Talcott  and 
Bickford  Abbott.  Their  capital  was  $7,500.  This  mill  continued 
the  manufacture  of  satinets.  In  1854  this  mill  burned  but  was  soon 
rebuilt,  and  in  1869  George  Maxwell  became  its  president,  secre- 
tary and  agent.  Under  his  able  leadership  the  plant  made  great 
progress.  Upon  his  death,  in  1891,  his  son,  Francis  T.  Maxwell, 
became  president  and  treasurer.  One  of  the  Twin  Mills  is  still 
standing,  at  the  foot  of  Morrison  and  River  Streets. 


In  1836,  Captain  Allen  Hammond  with  George  Kellogg  built 
the  New  England  Mill.  Mr.  Kellogg,  who  had  stood  shoulder  to 
shoulder  with  Colonel  McLean  and  Ralph  Talcott  through  their 
early  struggles  for  success,  now  undertook  another  enterprise. 
Calling  Captain  Allen  Hammond  from  his  farm  on  Quarry  Hill, 
he  made  the  New  England  Mill  a  fact  with  himself  as  agent  and 
Mr.  Hammond  superintendent.  This  was  like  all  the  manufac- 
tories preceding,  it  was  also  a  satinet  manufactory.  It  was  burned 
in  the  autumn  of  1841,  and  rebuilt  during  the  fall  and  winter  fol- 



The  house  at  the  extreme  right  was  the  Pember  home. 
The  next  house  was  the  Maxwell  home.  All  these  build- 
ings were  demolished  when  the  Maxwell  residence  (now 
the  City  Hospital)  was  built. 




lowing.  Business  was  rather  poor  at  the  time.  The  burning  of 
the  New  England  Mill  was  a  great  loss  for  Rockville,  but  far  greater 
to  the  owners.  They  had  an  insurance  of  $16,000,  which  was 
cheerfully  paid. 

It  is  an  ill  wind  that  blows  no  good.  The  making  of  cassimeres 
in  Rockville  commenced  in  the  rebuilt  mill,  and  proved  to  be  an 
advantage  over  satinets.  No  other  cloth  than  satinets  had  been 
made  in  Rockville.  The  new  mill  was  fitted  with  machinery  for 
fabricating  fancy  cassimeres,  which  was  an  entirely  new  branch 
of  the  woolen  business,  requiring  a  much  higher  degree  of  skill 
in  the  workmen,  and  affording  as  the  event  has  shown,  larger 
profits.  Its  introduction  began  an  era  in  the  history  of  manufac- 
turing in  Rockville.  Captain  Hammond  was  the  first  man  in  Rock- 
ville who  learned  the  mystery  of  setting  up  a  loom  chain  to  make 
a  figure  in  weaving. 

Prior  to  this  time,  the  only  goods  manufactured  were  cotton 
warps.  The  New  England  decided  to  commence  the  manufacture 
of  all-wool  fancy  "kerseymeres,"  and  had  the  new  looms  from  the 
original  George  Crompton.  It  was  from  Mr.  Crompton  that  Cap- 
tain Hammond  learned  designing.  The  New  England  Company's 
looms  turned  out  the  first  all-wool  "fancies"  made  in  America. 



John  Brown,  of  Ossawattamic  fame,  immortalized  in  song  and 
story,  was  a  frequent  visitor  to  the  New  England  Mill  in  its  early 
days.  He  purchased  wool  for  the  company  when  George  Kellogg 
(Uncle  George)  was  agent.  With  the  utmost  confidence  in  his 
honesty,  the  company  advanced  him  money  with  which  to  pur- 
chase wool  in  the  West. 

On  one  occasion  $2,800  was  placed  in  his  hands  for  that  pur- 
pose, and  the  receipt  for  the  same  remained  in  the  possession  of 
Mr.  J.  C.  Hammond,  Jr.,  for  many  years.  Unfortunately,  John 
Brown  became  financially  involved  and  wrote  a  letter  explaining 
the  situation,  dated  at  Franklin  Mills,  August  27,  1839,  and  ad- 
dressed to  George  Kellogg,  Esq.,  agent  of  New  England  Manufac- 
turing Company,  Vernon,  Connecticut. 

There  was  not  yet  any  post  office  in  Rockville.  The  letter  was 
written  on  a  piece  of  paper  unruled,  nearly  the  size  of  a  sheet  of 
foolscap.  Envelopes  were  not  used  at  that  time,  and  the  letter 
bears  the  marks  of  the  prevailing  style  of  folding  and  also  the  wafer 
and  the  marks  of  the  letter  seal  on  the  wafer.  The  figures  25  are 
doubtless  the  amount  of  the  postage.  The  letter  was  dated  about 
four  days  before  mailing,  due  perhaps  to  limited  postal  facilities. 

In  the  letter  John  Brown  humbles  himself,  and  the  whole 
sentiment  is  that  of  regret  at  not  being  able  to  pay  at  that  time 
and  a  promise  of  doing  all  in  his  power  to  liquidate.  In  his  will 
he  named  the  sum  of  $50  for  the  Company. 

John  Brown  was  born  in  Torrington  May  9,  1800.  He  was 
executed  for  treason,  murder  in  the  first  degree  and  criminal  con- 
spiracy with  slaves  by  Governor  Wise,  at  Charlestown,  Virginia, 
December  2,  1859.  The  North,  however,  considered  him  a  martvr 
and  a  saint,  and  the  bell  on  the  old  First  Church  of  Rockville  was 
tolled  out  of  respect  to  him. 

John  Brown  was  related  to  Dr.  Herman  Humphrey,  once  pres- 
ident of  Amherst  College,  and  to  the  Rev.  Luther  Humphrey. 
They  were  his  cousins.  The  heroic  magnitude  of  mind  with  which 
he  accepted  his  fate  is  found  in  the  following  letter: 



Charlestown,  Jefferson  County 
19th  November.   1859 


John  Brown  to  his  cousin 
Rev.  Luther  Humphrey 
From  the  Jail: 

I  neither  feel  mortified,  degraded,  nor  in  the  least  ashamed 
of  mv  imprisonment,  my  chain  or  my  near  prospect  of  death  by 
hano;mg;.  I  feel  assured  that  not  one  hair  shall  fall  from  mv  head 
without  the  will  of  mv  Heavenly  Father. 

I  shall  be  sixtv  vears  old  were  I  to  live  to  May  9,  1860. 

Your  affectionate  Cousin, 

John  Brown. 

Herman  Humphrey,  D.D.,  a  graduate  of  Yale,  was  President 
of  Amherst  College  twenty-two  years  ( 1823-45 ) .  During  that 
time  he  also  held  professorships  in  the  fields  of  Sacred  Theology, 
Moral  Philosophy,  and  Metaphvsics. 

Luther  Humphrev  graduated  from  Amherst  College  in  1836; 
he  attended  the  Madison  Union  Theological  Seminary  in  the  vear 
1840-41  and  was  ordained  a  Baptist  minister  in  Lorraine,  New  York, 
on  July  13,  1842. 


In  the  vear  1836,  Phineas  Talcott,  Ralph  Talcott,  Aaron  Kel- 
logg and  Hubbard  Kellogg  built  the  Leeds  Mill,  which  later  be- 
came a  part  of  the  Rock  Mill.  The  Leeds  Brick  Mill  continued 
until  1864.  That  year,  the  magnificent  5-story  building  was  pur- 
chased and  business  moved  there.  The  Company  was  organized 
February  2,  1880,  with  Samuel  Fitch,  founder,  Chancey  H.  Strick- 
land and  Spencer  S.  Fitch.  There  may  be  seen  the  old  stone  arch 
and  kev  stone  dated  1864,  indicating  the  site  on  which  the  Leeds 
Mill  was  built. 


The  envelope  industry  had  its  beginning  in  this  country  in  a 
number  of  places,  all  at  about  the  same  time,  one  being  Rockville. 
The  Envelope  Shop  is  still  an  important  part  of  the  history  of  the 
city.  As  far  as  can  be  determined,  the  White,  Corbin  Companv 
a  hundred  years  ago  was  the  first  envelope  manufacturer  in  New 
England,  and  one  of  the  very  first  in  the  United  States.  In  Worces- 
ter, Massachusetts,  there  were  several  envelope  folding  machines 
in  the  process  of  development;  one  by  Dr.  Russell  Hawes  in  1353, 
which  was  found  unsatisfactory,  and  two  other  experiments  by 
James  Arnold  and  James  Ball,  of  Worcester,  during  the  period  of 
1853-1856,  which  were  not  patented. 

Cyrus  White,  the  founder  of  White,  Corbin  and  Companv 
was  born  in  Richmond,  Vermont,  November  18,  1814,  and  died  at 
Rockville,  Mav  10.  1891,  aged  77  vears.  He  was  reared  on  a  farm 
in  the  frugal  tradition  of  self-help. 

In  1836,  when  22  years  of  age,  Cyrus  White  made  an  engage- 
ment for  emplovment  with  a  man  in  Ware,  Massachusetts,  but  his 
prospective  employer  died  suddenly,  just  a  few  hours  before  he 
arrived.  He  thus  found  himself  among  strangers  with  onlv  83.00. 
Bv  chance  he  heard  of  a  prospective  opening  at  Vernon  Centre 
and  joined  a  driver  who  was  taking  a  herd  of  cattle  to  Vernon. 
He  obtained  work  as  a  blacksmith  and  remained  there  until  some- 
time during  1838.  He  desired  to  start  in  business  on  his  own 
account  and  planned  to  locate  at  Rockville  as  that  town  gave  evi- 
dence of  growth,  and  a  little  later,  he  was  able  to  purchase  the 
blacksmith  shop  and  business  of  Elizur  S.  Hurlburt  in  Rockville 
and  with  a  cash  capital  of  a  little  over  $100,  started  in  business. 

In  July,  1849,  Cyrus  White  bought  for  $1,700  a  half  interest  in 
a  foundrv  owned  bv  Wm.  R.  Orcutt,  Mr.  J.  N.  Sticknev  buving 
the  other  half  interest  for  a  like  amount.  The  inventory  of  the 
property  outside  of  the  real  estate  was  $108.00.  Thev  also  assumed 
notes  and  accounts  pavable  of  $1,446.27.  making  the  entire  amount 
of  their  investment  $4,954.36.  In  1850.  a  machine  shop  was  added 
to  the  foundry. 

When  Mr.  Wm.  R.  Orcutt  came  to  Rockville.  he  brought  with 
him  an  ingenious  young  man  bv  the  name  of  Milton  G.  Puffer, 
a  pattern  maker  and  blacksmith  bv  trade,  who  at  once  found  em- 
plovment with  Cyrus  White  in  his  pattern  and  blacksmith  shop 



and  through  this  connection,  Rockville  is  indebted  to  Mr.  Orcutt 
for  its  Envelope  industry. 

The  making  of  envelopes  by  machinery  was  in  the  minds  of 
many  men  and  White  and  Stickney  proposed  that  Mr.  Puffer,  who 
had  shown  inventive  ability,  build  for  them  an  envelope  machine, 
he  to  own  one-third  interest  and  the  firm  to  own  the  other  two- 
thirds.  Discouraged  at  the  slow  progress  of  the  invention  he  went 
to  Windsor  Locks  and  abandoned  for  the  time  being  the  project. 
On  February  5,  1853,  Mr.  Puffer  returned  to  Rockville,  finished 
the  envelope  machine  and  operated  it  for  a  short  time.  But  while 
it  made  envelopes  after  a  fashion,  it  was  not  a  mechanical  success. 

Mr.  Puffer  at  once  went  to  work  on  his  second  machine,  the 
first  machine  being  consigned  to  the  scrap  heap.  We  have  no 
knowledge  of  what  it  was  like — all  we  know  is  that  it  was  con- 
structed on  the  rotary  principle,  which  was  the  dream  of  every 
envelope  machine  inventor. 

Mr.  Puffer  made  some  improvements  in  the  mechanism  of  his 
machine,  and  also  made  a  double  machine,  that  is,  two  machines 
were  combined.  The  machine  had  two  folding  boxes.  It  was, 
in  fact,  two  machines  mounted  on  the  same  frame.  By  this  im- 
provement, the  production  of  each  operative  was  practically 
doubled,  now  being  about  three  thousand  per  hour  for  the  double 
machine.  Still,  the  machine  was  not  a  self  gummer.  Other  in- 
ventors were  at  work  in  various  parts  of  the  country,  and  in  due 
time  the  Berlin  &  Jones  Company,  of  New  York,  brought  out  a  new 
machine  which  did  more  and  better  work  than  the  Puffer  machine. 
White,  Corbin  &  Company  bought  one  of  the  New  York  machines 
and  this  almost  broke  Mr.  Puffer's  heart. 

When  the  Berlin  &  Jones  machine  was  delivered  at  the  White, 
Corbin  and  Company  factory,  Mr.  Puffer  experienced  great  dif- 
ficulty in  running  it,  so  a  girl  was  sent  up  from  New  York  to  op- 
erate the  machine,  and  she  demonstrated  the  success  of  the  ma- 
chine. This  was  a  hard  blow  to  Mr.  Puffer,  and  seeing  that  his 
machine  had  been  passed  by  in  the  race,  he  pathetically  said 
nothing,  but  taking  his  hat  and  coat  left  the  factory,  never  to 

In  1866,  Mr.  Prescott  assumed  the  active  management  of  the 
White,  Corbin  &  Company. 

In  1895,  three  years  prior  to  consolidating  with  other  envelope 
manufacturers  into  what  is  now  the  United  States  Envelope  Com- 
pany, in  1898,  the  local  company  of  White,  Corbin  &  Company 




headed  by  William  H.  Prescott  employed  100  hands  and  produced 
1,000,000  envelopes  a  day,  working  ten  hours  a  day  including 

Now  much  antiquated  machinery  has  been  replaced  with  mod- 
ern machinery,  enabling  the  local  plant  to  turn  out  3,000,000  en- 
velopes a  day  or  15  million  each  week  in  six  working  days,  includ- 
ing various  sizes  of  Bag  Envelopes  on  a  machine  made  by  the 
Holweg  Company  of  Strassburg,  France,  that  the  local  company 
installed  six  to  eight  months  ago,  with  a  production  of  15,000  per 
hour.    The  local  company  now  employs  approximately  225  people. 


The  James  J.  Regan  Manufacturing  Company  were  manufac- 
turers of  knit  goods,  cotton  yarns  and  woven  goods,  and  dealt  in 
woolen  stock  of  all  kinds.  Born  in  the  town  of  Stone,  Stafford- 
shire, England,  James  J.  Regan  emigrated  to  America  while  still 
a  boy.  He  began  business  in  East  Willington,  Connecticut,  and 
came  to  Rockville  in  the  early  1860's,  working  for  a  time  in  the 
Rock  Mill,  and  later  as  overseer  of  the  carding  in  the  Windermere 

While  at  the  Windermere,  he  invented  a  flock  cutting  ma- 
chine, a  great  improvement  on  anything  existing  at  that  time. 

He  began  business  on  his  own  account  in  1869,  the  year  of 
the  great  flood,  renting  rooms  in  the  old  Stone  Mill.  About  1875 
he  again  started  in  the  shoddy  business,  occupying  the  old  car- 
riage shop  on  Vernon  Avenue.  Then  he  removed  to  the  Florence 
Mill  on  West  Main  Street,  where  he  continued  for  nearly  sixteen 
years.  Business  so  increased  that  in  1891,  on  the  death  of  Cyrus 
White,  he  purchased  the  Glasgow  Mill,  adding  the  business  of 
making  knit  goods,  woolen  cloths,  etc.  His  two  mills  were  equipped 
with  all  the  latest  machinery  and  all  modern  improvements 
throughout.  He  died  in  1897.  He  had  a  name  for  sound  business 
principles  and  honesty  of  dealing,  and  was  prodigiously  indus- 

Announcement  was  made  on  February  13th,  1935,  that  the 
James  J.  Repan  Manufacturing  Company  had  been  sold,  and  on 
Thursday,  March  7th,  Herbert  J.  Regan,  last  male  member  of  the 
family  passed  away. 

For  sixty-seven  years  the  city  and  its  people  had  reaped  much 
benefit  from  what  was  started  here  by  the  founder,  James  J.  Regan, 
in  1868,  and  later  carried  on  by  his  sons,  Francis  J.  and  Herbert 
J.  Regan. 

James  J.  Regan  left  behind  at  his  death  a  name  for  sound 
business  principles  and  honesty  of  dealings  that  is  an  honor  to  his 

The  business  was  incorporated  in  June,  1898,  at  which  time 
Francis  J.  Regan  was  made  President  and  Treasurer.  "Colonel 
Frank"  had  a  long  and  thorough  training  in  the  business,  of  which 
for  many  years  he  was  the  responsible  head. 




The  beginning  of  this  great  textile  business  was  small,  the 
"old  stone  mill"  being  the  original  building  used.  A  short  time 
after  1868,  the  business  was  transferred  to  Daleville  where  Mr. 
Regan  purchased  a  mill  and  began  operations. 

Upon  leaving  the  stone  mill  the  Regan  plant  was  moved  into 
the  Florence  Mill  where  it  remained  several  years.  Rusiness  in- 
creased so  rapidly,  however,  that  in  1891  Mr.  Regan  purchased  the 
Glasgow  Mill  at  the  west  end,  which  was  operated  until  his  death 
on  August  6th,  1897. 



Elisha  J.  Martin,  born  in  Tolland,  October  12,  1845,  attended 
the  District  Schools,  was  reared  a  farmer  boy,  and  occupied  with 
agricultural  duties  until  he  enlisted  in  the  Civil  War.  In  the  army 
he  made  an  excellent  record  as  a  courageous  soldier. 

Returning  from  the  War,  he  was  engaged  for  a  time  in  the 
carding  room  at  the  Rock  Mill.  Then  he  was  night  watchman  at 
the  Silk  Mill  of  Belding  Brothers,  and  in  1875  worked  in  Simonds 
Silk  Mill.  While  there  he  invented  a  machine  for  the  clearing  of 
silk  by  means  of  which  much  labor  and  material  could  be  saved. 
Martin  suffered  an  injustice  in  this  matter  as  many  another  in- 
ventor has  done.  The  Simonds  Company  claimed  the  invention 
as  their  own,  and  Mr.  Martin  not  having  the  financial  means  to 
fight  for  his  rights  in  the  courts  laid  the  matter  before  A.  N.  Beld- 
ing, of  Rockville.  The  result  was  a  compromise — the  patent  right 
was  divided  with  the  Simonds  Company. 

Elisha  J.  Martin  entered  the  employment  of  Belding  Brothers 
in  the  Spring  of  1877.  Here  he  began  to  make  braided  eye-glass 
cords  as  a  pleasant  occupation,  and  finally  began  making  braided 
fish  lines  for  some  of  his  friends,  procuring  a  braider  for  the  pur- 
pose. Soon  after,  on  account  of  the  popularity  of  these  lines,  he 
decided  to  try  a  business  in  that  direction.  So  he  rented  a  room 
in  Belding  Brothers  Mill,  and  entered  extensively  into  this  line. 

Fifteen  years  later,  the  business  had  grown  to  such  propor- 
tions that  he  found  it  advisable  to  have  more  room  and  built  the 
factory  on  Mountain  Street  in  1894.  The  development  was  won- 
derful, the  product  of  this  factory  being  known  all  over  the  United 
States  as  "The  King  Fisher,"  a  feature  of  it  being  a  secret  process 
of  enameling,  which  added  to  its  durability  while  not  in  the  least 
detracting  from  its  flexibility  and  preventing  any  knotting  or  kink- 
ing of  the  line.  Wherever  placid  lakes  lure  the  disciples  of  Isaac 
Walton  the  name  of  Kingfisher  is  known. 

The  factory  was  the  pioneer  in  the  development  and  the  mak- 
ing of  parachute  cord  at  the  time  of  the  first  World  War,  and  has 
continued  with  this  work  ever  since,  until  during  the  second  World 
War  the  production  was  tremendous.  The  factory  not  only  made 
parachute  cord  for  human  chutes,  but  merchandise  chutes,  flares 
and  other  types,  both  of  nylon  and  silk;  also  powder  bag  cord 
which  was  used  to  tie  the  powder  bags  used  in  the  large  Navy 



Coast  Defense  Guns,  and  this  was  made  of  silk  because  of  its  leav- 
ing no  residue  ash,  thereby  preventing  any  backfire  in  the  guns 
when  the  breech  was  opened.  This  was  made  in  great  quantity 
without  a  single  rejection  throughout  the  whole  war.  In  fact,  it 
was  estimated  some  time  ago  that  the  production  during  the  war 
period  was  over  fifty  million  yards  of  nylon  and  silk  cord,  and 
nearly  one-third  of  a  million  yards  of  rayon.  In  other  words, 
enough  cord  was  made  to  reach  all  the  way  around  the  world  and 
beyond  Honolulu  besides,  taking  the  starting  point  at  the  plant  in 

After  the  death  of  Elisha  J.  Martin  in  1899,  his  son,  A.  Leroy 
Martin,  conducted  the  business,  and  under  his  able  management 
production  more  than  doubled.  He  was  very  active  in  community 
affairs,  a  lover  of  sports  and  generous  in  heart.  Everybody  knew 


Belding  Brothers  and  Company  are  silk  manufacturers  of  world- 
wide reputation.  The  history  of  the  rise  and  progress  of  these 
manufacturers  of  machine  twist,  sewing  and  embroidery  silks,  fol- 
lowing through  their  years,  reads  more  like  romance  than  reality. 

It  dates  back  to  about  1857.  At  that  time  E.  K.  Rose,  asso- 
ciated with  other  gentlemen,  introduced  the  silk  business  into 
Rockville.  His  operations  at  first  were  limited — for  some  time  four 
girls  constituted  his  entire  force  of  laborers,  until  the  Belding 
Brothers  became  identified  with  the  business. 

Hiram  H.  and  Alvah  N.  Belding,  who  had  worked  on  their 
father's  farm  in  Belding,  Michigan,  began  peddling  sewing  silk 
from  house  to  house,  using  their  brother,  Milo,  who  lived  in  Ash- 
field,  Mass.,  as  a  purchasing  agent.  Their  business  grew  to  the 
point  that,  in  1861,  several  teams  and  wagons  were  necessary. 

In  1863,  they  established  a  house  in  Chicago,  and  in  the  same 
year,  they  formed  a  partnership  with  E.  K.  Rose.  The  Belding 
Bros.  &  Company  began  operations  in  Rockville  in  what  was  then 
known  as  the  Glasgow  Thread  Mill.  The  business  thrived,  and  in 
1865  a  sales  office  was  opened  in  New  York  City.  In  that  same  year 
they  bought  an  old  paper  mill,  tore  it  down,  and  built  a  fine  new 

The  partnership  with  Mr.  Rose,  who  was  a  poor  manager,  proved 
to  be  an  unfortunate  one.  He  speculated  heavily  in  stocks,  and 
the  partnership   was   dissolved.     Liabilities   of  $235,000   did  not, 



however,  force  the  Beldings  into  the  bankruptcy  courts,  where 
they  might  have  found  easy  relief.  They  managed  to  pay  off  all 
their  debts,  thanks  to  moral  courage  and  the  financial  ability  of 
Milo  Belding. 

In  1870,  Belding  Brothers  &  Company  bought  the  Rose  Silk 
Mill  and  machinery  paying  $41,000  for  it.  Additions  were  made 
to  this  mill,  and  in  1909  a  large  stone  mill  just  across  the  stream 
which  furnished  water  power  was  purchased. 

The  year  1876  saw  expansion  in  two  directions.  They  pur- 
chased a  plant  in  Northampton,  Mass.,  and  began  work  there. 
They  also  began  operations  in  Montreal,  Canada. 

With  factories  at  Rockville,  Northampton,  Belding,  and  Mont- 
real, and  with  sales  offices  in  all  the  large  cities  of  the  United 
States  from  New  York  to  San  Francisco,  Belding  Brothers  and 
Company  was,  at  its  peak  of  success,  one  of  Rockville's  most  ex- 
tensive industries. 

Belding  Brothers  &  Company  merged  with  the  Hemingway 
Company  in  December  of  1925,  and  in  1927  the  Belding-Heming- 
way  Co.,  sold  its  land,  buildings  and  water  rights  to  the  Keeneys 
of  Somersville,  Connecticut. 

In  1936,  the  property  was  leased  from  the  estate  of  Lafayette 
Keeney  by  the  American  Dyeing  Corporation,  and  bought  by  that 
company  in  1948. 



During  the  year  1854,  Samuel  Fitch,  at  that  time  traveling  for 
the  Hazardville  Powder  Company,  intuitively  saw  the  future  of 
Stockinet,  and  immediately  took  steps  toward  the  beginning  of  an 
industry  which  resulted  in  the  manufacture  of  a  variety  of  plain 
and  mixed  knit  goods  of  various  grades  and  weights,  embracing 
cotton,  woolen,  plushes,  and  "eider  downs." 

Stockinet  is  used  for  almost  unlimited  purposes,  for  lining  rub- 
ber goods,  and  for  under  and  over  garments — Eider  down  is  used 
almost  exclusively  for  opera  cloaks,  ladies'  and  children's  outside 
wear.    And  the  various  shades  in  this  product  are  simply  beautiful. 

Samuel  Fitch  began  traveling  for  the  Enfield  Powder  Com- 
pany as  early  as  1839,  and  for  fifteen  years  peddled  powder 
throughout  the  New  England  States.  Then  he  began  manufacture 
of  Stockinets  in  1854  at  West  Stafford.  He  had  little  capital,  and 
business  was  operated  in  a  small  way. 

In  April,  1867,  he  brought  his  stockinet  mill  to  Rockville  and 
started  business  first  in  rooms  in  the  old  Glasgow  Thread  Com- 

(in  center)    Later  Purchased  by  the  Hockanum  Mills 



pany's  Mills  remaining  there  until  Cyrus  White  took  possession  of 
the  property,  when  it  was  transferred  to  the  Leeds  Company's 
brick  mill. 

In  1874,  Mr.  Fitch  bought  the  Carlisle  Thread  Company's 
property  on  East  Main  Street  and  owing  to  the  large  demand  for 
the  products  of  the  mill  the  business  increased  rapidly.  Unfor- 
tunately, the  next  few  years  proved  very  disastrous  for  business  in 
general,  and  the  stockinet  trade  suffered. 

In  1889  a  joint  stock  company  was  formed  with  Samuel  Fitch 
as  President;  Spencer  S.  Fitch,  Vice-President;  and  George  G. 
Smith,  Secretary. 

The  products  of  this  corporation  became  celebrated  and  its 
stockinets,  eider  downs  and  plushes  could  be  found  in  the  lead- 
ing markets  of  the  United  States.  The  J.  J.  Regan  Company  pur- 
chased the  entire  plant  in  January,  1899. 

J.  J.  Regan  sold  the  Rockville  Worsted  Company  to  Edward 
and  Thomas  Corcorans.  They  sold  it  to  George  Daniels,  who 
moved  to  Brookfield,  Massachusetts,  and  the  Hockanum  Mills  Com- 
pany bought  it. 


The  finest  and  best  equipped  business  block  in  Tolland  Coun- 
ty is  located  on  Union  Street,  immediately  adjoining  the  Union 
Congregational  Church  and  is  one  of  the  two  fine  buildings  which 
arose  phoenix-like  from  the  ruins  of  the  disastrous  fire  of  April  3, 
1888.  It  was  erected  by  Samuel  Fitch,  first  mayor  of  the  city,  and 
one  of  its  leading  manufacturers. 

The  building  is  three  full  stories,  with  basement,  substantially 
built  of  brick  with  rough  brownstone  trimmings.  The  first  floor 
contains  six  spacious  and  finely  arranged  stores  with  plate  glass 
double  fronts. 

The  second  floor  is  devoted  to  offices,  residence  flats  and  two 
lodge  halls. 

On  the  third  floor  was  located  one  of  the  finest  photograph 
galleries  in  Connecticut,  fully  equipped,  and  residence  flats  and 

Decorating  the  top  of  the  building  is  a  large  stone  Phoenix, 
the  Egyptian  bird  famed  for  its  ability  to  rise  to  a  new  life  out  of 
the  ashes  of  its  own  death.  Samuel  Fitch  exemplified  the  Phoenix 
in  erecting  the  present  useful  building  out  of  the  ashes  of  the  old 
popular  skating  rink  and  the  home  of  the  famous  State  League 
Polo  Team. 




The  Minterburn  Mill  was  built  in  1906  on  the  site  of  the 
old  Rockville  Warp  Mills  Company.  A  handsome  concrete  con- 
struction, it  is  the  largest  mill  in  the  city — 300  feet  long  by  56  feet 
wide  and  five  stories  high. 

This  mill  was  built  by  the  Maxwell  and  Sykes  families.  The 
Maxwells  also  owned,  at  this  time,  the  Springville,  the  New  Eng- 
land and  the  Hockanum  Mills.  And  in  the  year  1906,  the  holding 
Company  for  the  four  mills  was  formed  and  called  the  Hockanum 
Mills  Company. 

It  was  in  the  year  1934  that  the  M.  T.  Stevens  and  Co.,  bought 
the  Hockanum  Mills  Company.  This  company  operated  the  four 
mills  until  1951,  when  the  community  was  stunned  by  the  an- 
nouncement that  the  mills  could  not  be  profitably  operated,  and 
would  be  closed. 


The  Hockanum  Mills  Company  bought  the  Saxony  Mills  on 
West  Street  from  the  James  J.  Regan  Company  in  1933.  The  prop- 
erty included  a  modern  two-story  building  erected  in  1920  in  which 
the  carding  and  spinning  departments  were  housed,  and  the  old 
building  which  has  a  high  basement,  two  stories  and  an  attic.  The 
original  building  is  one  of  the  oldest  mill  buildings  in  town,  with 
old  wooden  pegs  being  used  in  part  of  it. 



The  American  Dyeing  Corporation  was  incorporated  as  a  new 
company  in  November,  1936,  and  began  operations  in  Rockviile, 
Connecticut,  in  processing  of  rayon  piece  goods  primarily  to  be 
used  as  linings  in  clothing  and  luggage. 

The  Prsident  of  the  Corporation,  and  major  stockholder,  was 
William  Horowitz  who  came  to  Rockviile  with  many  years  of 
experience  in  the  weaving  industry  and  the  dyeing  industry  as  the 
principal  guiding  force  in  the  H  &  H  Manufacturing  Company 
and  its  affiliates  located  in  Quidnick,  Rhode  Island.  Associated 
with  him  was  Abraham  L.  Brooks,  now  Vice-President  of  the  Com- 
pany, and  Nat  N.  Schwedel,  Treasurer. 

Upon  his  graduation  from  Brown  University,  Mr.  Horowitz's 
son,  Ben  Horowitz,  in  June  of  1938,  also  joined  the  company,  and 
upon  the  death  of  William  Horowitz  on  May  4,  1952,  became 
President.  The  property  occupied  by  the  company  was  owned 
at  the  time  of  leasing  by  the  Estate  of  Lafayette  Keeney  of  Som- 
ersville,  Connecticut.    It  had  remained  idle  from  1928  to  1936,  and 




previous  to  that  had  been  owned  by  the  Belding-Hemingway  Silk 

The  property  was  purchased  from  the  Estate  on  February  3, 
1948,  and  many  additional  sections  have  been  added  to  the  prop- 
erty as  expansion  requirements  demanded. 

In  1941,  an  affiliated  corporation  was  formed  in  Cranston, 
Rhode  Island,  under  the  name  of  the  Bellefont  Dyeing  Corpora- 
tion, and  under  the  same  management  and  ownership  The  Belle- 
font  Dyeing  Corporation  in  1944  moved  to  Fiskdale,  Massachu- 
setts, in  the  Town  of  Sturbridge,  where  it  is  now  located. 

The  Massachusetts  location  concentrates  upon  the  dyeing  and 
finishing  of  rayon  piece  goods  in  lining  fields;  the  Rockville,  Con- 
necticut plant  has  branched  out  into  other  fabrics,  including  ray- 
ons, acetates,  combinations  of  rayon  and  acetate,  nylon,  combina- 
tions of  nylon  and  cotton,  dacron  and  orlon. 

It  operates  its  own  laboratory  for  testing  all  new  materials,  for 
testing  ingredients  to  be  placed  in  the  dyeing  and  finishing  process, 
for  the  manufacture  of  all  its  own  soaps  and  finishes.  It  operates 
its  own  machine  shop  for  the  repair  of  its  equipment,  and  for  the 
building  of  special  equipment  for  special  problems.  It  processes 
all  its  own  steam  and  purchases  only  such  electric  power  as  is  not 
generated  by  its  own  generating  equipment. 

It  has  recently  become  a  licensee  of  the  Deering,  Milliken  & 
Company,  Inc.,  in  the  processing  of  "Milium,"  which  is  a  treatment 
creating  an  insulated  fabric.  It  is  one  of  only  two  licensees  in 
the  United  States  authorized  to  do  this  process.  In  order  to  prop- 
erly handle  this  new  "Miracle"  fabric,  it  has  erected  a  new  build- 
ing exclusively  for  the  housing  of  this  process. 


Upon  William  Horowitz's  death  on  May  4,  1952,  the  William 
Horowitz  Foundation,  a  charitable  foundation  that  was  formed  by 
Mr.  Horowitz  and  his  associates  some  years  ago,  spearheaded  a 
program  both  as  a  community  project,  and  as  a  memorial  to  him, 
for  the  erection  of  a  swimming  pool,  wading  pool,  and  field  house 
in  Henry  Park,  owned  by  the  City  of  Rockville. 

Ground  was  broken  on  the  anniversary  of  his  death,  May  4, 
1953,  and  the  project  was  presented  to  the  City  of  Rockville  as  a 
gift  of  the  community  and  the  friends  of  William  Horowitz.  Its 
value  is  estimated  at  $100,000.00,  and  it  is  the  first  such  facility 
available  within  the  area. 



Wholesalers  of  Alumnium  Storm  Windows 

Incorporated  under  Connecticut  laws,   September  15,   1952 

Norman  B.  Chase,  President 
Norma  L.   (Mrs.  N.  B.)   Chase,  Secretary 
Morton  Lieberman,  Treasurer 
Directors:  The  Officers 

Estimated  worth:  $10,000. 


Manufacturers  of  Fishlines  and  Parachute  Cords 
Incorporated  under  Connecticut  laws,  November  13,  1952 

Incorporators : 

Harry  C.  Miller 
Charles  F.  Phillips 
Sidney  R.  Pine 


Donald  E.  Fisk  Paul  Sweeney 

John  Mason  Samuel  Gamble 

John  Sweeney  John   F.   Dailey,   Jr. 

Authorized  capital  in  1951 — $50,000  preferred  and  100  shares  common- 
no  par  value. 

Formerly,  The  National  Printing  Company 
Amel  T.  Bruneau,  President  and  Treasurer 

Mr.    Bruneau    purchased    property    at    Brooklyn    Street,    but    after 
a  few  years  moved  out  of  the  city. 


From  the  commencement  of  manufacturing  in  Rockville  in 
1821  until  the  opening  of  the  Hartford,  Providence,  and  Fishkill 
Railroad  in  1849,  all  travel  and  transportation  in  and  out  of  the 
town  was  by  teams.  Manufacturing  agents  drove  to  Hartford  sev- 
eral times  a  week,  in  unpredictable  weather,  starting  early  in  the 
morning,  making  numerous  purchases  of  factory  and  family  stores, 
doing  a  general  errand  business,  and  returning  late  in  the  evening 
after  a  hard  day's  work.  Freight  also  had  to  be  handled  by  team, 
though  "Jim"  King's  fine  six-horse  team  furnished  a  splendid  equip- 

The  railroad  fever  possessed  the  nation  about  the  year  1840 
and  by  1851  the  Erie  had  linked  the  Hudson  and  the  Great  Lakes. 
In  1849  the  construction  of  the  Hartford,  Providence  and  Fishkill 
Railroad  brought  traveling  facilities  within  a  distance  of  four  and 
a  half  miles  of  the  village  of  Rockville. 

Another  generation  of  stage  drivers  followed  the  building  of 




the  railroad  and  a  line  was  run  from  Rockville  to  Vernon  Station, 
carrying  the  U.  S.  Mail.  It  was  started  by  George  Hammond  who 
ran  it  for  a  few  years  and  then  sold  it  to  Harvey  King.  King  owned 
and  occupied  a  portion  of  what  is  now  St.  Bernard's  Terrace  prop- 
erty. He  was  the  proprietor  of  the  stage  route  between  Rockville 
and  Vernon  Depot.    George  Brown  was  the  driver. 

Besides  this  route  he  sent  a  stage  to  Warehouse  Point  through 
Ellington  and  Broad  Brook  to  connect  with  the  train  from  Hart- 
ford to  Springfield,  bringing  back  passengers  from  the  town  train, 
and  also  a  stage  to  Tolland.  Most  of  the  drivers  used  four  horses 
but  there  was  one  stage  on  which  they  drove  six  horses.  These 
Concord  stages  cost  from  $1,200  to  $1,600. 

People  felicitated  themselves  upon  the  improvement.  But 
what  a  bore  that  four  and  a  half  miles  of  staging  soon  came  to  be 
considered.  How  passengers  grumbled  over  the  15  minutes'  delay 
in  loading  some  half-score  of  passengers  inside,  and  a  like  numbei 
indefinitely  extended  outside,  accompanied  by  mountains  of  bag- 
gage and  express  packages!  Plow  miserable  the  drag  over  the  hills 
in  the  heat,  dust,  mud,  snow  and  rain,  outside  with  no  umbrella 
and  in  the  dark  with  no  lantern! 

The  intoxicating  possibility  of  a  railroad  connecting  Rockville 
and  Vernon  and  thus  cooperating  with  the  larger  trend  became  the 
subject  of  earnest  conversation.  Manufacturers  saw  cheap  freight, 
better  traveling  facilities  and  increased  trade.  Finally,  on  a  sea- 
sonable February  morning  in  the  year  1856,  "Bill"  Orcutt  with  his 
alert  mind  and  engaging  grin  pleasantly  invited  Messrs.  William 
T.  Cogswell,  Francis  Keeney,  J.  W.  Stickney  and  A.  C.  Crosby  to 
join  him  on  a  tour  of  prospective  inspection.  William  R.  Orcutt 
was  distinctly  a  self-made  man.  He  started  out  as  a  boy  with 
ninepence,  bought  a  gun,  and  earned  money  by  shooting  game.  He 
left  a  large  estate. 

Starting  from  Market  Street,  these  shrewd  and  observant  com- 
panions walked  through  the  fields  in  a  foot  of  snow  to  Vernon, 
considered  carefully  a  logical  route  for  a  railroad,  dined  copiously 
at  McLean's  tavern,  and  returned  to  Rockville  by  another  way. 
Their  passion  was  as  pure  as  the  snow,  but  thin.  Plans  emerged 
from  a  survey  made  in  the  autumn  of  1856  which  occupied  eight 
days  at  the  microscopic  expense  of  $45  (Orcutt  paid  $16  of  that 
out  of  his  own  prodigal  generosity).  But  the  year  1857  brought 
a  national  depression,  and  the  high  hopes  of  a  railroad  were  buried 
for  a  period  of  five  years. 


On  October  29,  1862,  when  the  first  breath  of  winter  was 
creeping  over  New  England,  the  project  was  rescued  from  oblivion 
by  the  opening  of  several  books  of  subscriptions  which  were  taken 
up  in  two  days  by  local  citizens  with  the  eagerness  of  men  pur- 
chasing choice  lots  in  the  suburbs  of  Utopia.  It  was  purely  a  home 
enterprise.  On  that  same  day  a  Company  was  formally  organized 
by  the  choice  of  five  directors:  Phineas  Talcott,  Allen  Hammond, 
George  Kellogg,  E.  B.  Preston  and  William  R.  Orcutt.  Phineas 
Talcott  was  elected  President,  and  E.  B.  Preston,  Clerk  and  Treas- 

The  contract  for  grading  the  road  was  given  to  Messrs.  Clyde 
and  Griffin  and  the  first  shovelful  of  earth  moved  on  the  26th  day 
of  November,  1862.  During  the  winter  the  work  was  pushed,  and 
on  the  10th  day  of  August,  1863,  the  completion  of  the  road  was 
celebrated  by  an  excursion  over  the  road  to  Hartford  and  return, 
and  a  bounteous  dinner  at  Keeney's  hotel  in  a  delightful  atmos- 

The  road  was  opened  for  regular  travel  on  August  11,  1863. 
In  the  first  year  150  passengers  were  carried  each  day,  the  amount 
of  freight  17,400  tons,  and  Rockville  was  connected  with  the  outer 
world  by  its  four  trains  every  day.  The  actual  cost  of  road  and 
equipment  totalled  $165,000. 

The  first  train  over  the  new  railroad  was  run  through  to  Hart- 
ford and  conductor  McManus  of  the  Old  Hartford,  Providence  and 
Fishkill  road  came  out  from  Hartford  to  run  that  particular  train. 
It  was  a  great  event.  A  large  number  of  prominent  citizens  en- 
joyed the  first  trip  over  the  road. 

The  first  engine  purchased  was  Rockville  ( nicknamed  Betsy ) . 
It  rested  on  six  wheels.  It  had  but  four  when  purchased,  the  pony 
truck  being  placed  some  time  later.  The  Betsy  carried  a  very  large 
and  noisy  bell  which  was  out  of  all  proportion  to  the  rest  of  the 
engine,  excepting  perhaps  the  smoke  stack. 

The  Betsy  was  a  wood-burner,  with  a  firebox  so  small  that 
it  was  necessary  to  make  two  cuts  in  4  foot  wood  to  get  it  into 
the  firebox,  and  it  was  necessary  to  keep  one  man  at  work  sawing 
wood  to  supply  the  engine.  A  Mr.  Ladd  was  known  as  the  offi- 
cial sawer.  A  few  people  will  recall  little  "Betsy"  and  Shenipset 
locomotives,  nicknamed  "teakettles." 

At  one  time,  hauling  a  single  car,  she  made  afternoon  trips  to 
Hartford.  On  the  first  trip  entry  into  the  capital  city  was  unan- 
nounced.    Emerging  from  the  tunnel  with  hissing  noises  and  the 


ringing  of  the  great  bell,  the  old  Hartford  station  shook  with 
thunderous  sounds.  Everyone  within  hearing  distance  stood  still 
and  looked  in  every  direction  for  the  cause  of  the  commotion. 
Most  of  the  comments  of  the  hostile  crowd  were  not  complimen- 

The  crew  consisted  of  Conductor  Putnam  who  was  not  only 
the  conductor  of  the  train,  but  sold  the  tickets  in  the  ticket  office 
and  made  out  the  freight  bills.  Engineer  Goldman  had  charge  of 
the  engine.  George  Brown  was  the  baggage  master  at  the  station 
and  on  the  train,  and  also  acted  as  brakeman.  Samuel  Eaton  was 
the  fireman.  Conductor  Putnam  remained  in  the  employ  of  the 
road  for  many  years,  and  after  the  close  of  his  long  term  of  service, 
Henry  Vanness  became  conductor.  The  fare  to  Hartford  was 
seventy-five  cents.  By  the  way,  this  branch  railroad  from  Rock- 
ville  to  Vernon  connected  with  trains  going  West  to  Hartford  and 
points  beyond  and  going  East  to  Willimantic  and  points  beyond. 

There  was  also  another  railroad,  Connecticut  Central,  that 
operated  between  Springfield,  Massachusetts,  and  East  Hartford, 
where  it  connected  with  the  New  England  Railroad.  On  this  road 
at  the  town  of  Melrose,  there  was  a  branch  line  from  Melrose  to 
Rockville  through  Ellington.  This  branch  line  is  still  in  use  for 
freight  only  from  Rockville  to  Ellington. 

The  Rockville  Company  operated  its  own  road  for  the  first 
five  years  and  then  leased  it  to  the  Hartford,  Providence  and  Fish- 
kill  Company  for  five  years  at  a  yearly  rental  of  $9,000.  The  Rail- 
road was  finally  sold  to  the  New  York,  New  Haven,  and  Hartford 
Railroad  Company  on  April  25,  1903. 


The  most  popular  official  of  the  railroad  was  Conductor  Henry 
Vanness,  who,  on  September  1,  1864,  when  the  railroad  had  been 
in  operation  only  a  year,  entered  the  employ  of  the  company  as  a 
freight  handler,  and  continued  in  that  capacity  until  1866,  when  he 
was  placed  in  charge  of  the  switching  crew  at  Rockville.  His  home 
was  on  Fox  Hill.  In  1868,  he  was  promoted  to  baggagemaster, 
and  in  February,  1880,  to  pasenger  conductor,  in  which  position  he 
served  until  May  4,  1907,  when  he  retired  on  pension.  He  knew 
his  passengers  as  well  as  Sam  Clemens  knew  his  river  men  and  his 
pilots.  Forty-three  years  of  service  with  an  absolutely  clear  rec- 
ord on  his  retirement  won  for  him  the  regard,  respect  and  good 
wishes  of  his  associates  and  the  entire  community.     So  far  as  is 


known,  he  was  the  only  colored  railroad  conductor  in  the  country 
at  that  time. 

On  January  1,  1880,  about  40  of  the  businessmen  of  the  city 
assembled  at  the  Rockville  House  to  present  a  badge  to  Conduc- 
tor Henry  Vanness  as  a  token  of  the  esteem  in  which  he  was  held 
by  the  people. 

The  badge  was  of  gold  and  enamel;  the  design  was  a  ribbon 
border  enclosing  a  miniature  lantern;  on  the  border  the  letters 
N.  Y.  P.  &  F.,  and  at  the  sides  Semper  Paratus,  all  in  blue  and  black 
enamel.  The  lantern  had  a  red  enamel  globe,  in  the  center  of  which 
was  a  small  diamond  for  a  light,  the  design  representing  the  faith- 
ful conductor  who  never  failed  to  have  the  proper  signals  ready  in 
case  of  an  emergency  by  day  or  night. 

Ever  polite,  ever  faithful,  ever  honest,  ever  accommodating, 
ever  ready  Vanness! 


Panola — employs  50  operatives,  makes  satinets,  jeans  and  warps, 
pay  roll  $1,500  monthly,  has  a  steam  engine  which  will  run  two-thirds 
of  the  machinery,  and  by  its  aid  are  running  full  time. 

Belding  Brothers  Silk  Mill — 170  hands,  monthly  pay  roll  $3,500, 
thirty  horsepower  engine  just  introduced,  by  which  the  mill  runs  full 
time  without  the  aid  of  water  power. 

Thompson  &  Dickinson  Wool,  Shoddy  and  Wadding  Mills — employs 
35  hands,  pay  roll  $1,000,  have  an  engine  at  the  lower  mill,  and  are 
thus  but  partially  dependent  upon  water  power.  (Dickinson,  of  Witch 
Hazel  fame.) 

J.  N.  Leonard's  Silk  Mill — 60  hands,  pay  roll  $1,500,  have  a  fine 
engine  which  will  run  all  the  machinery. 

Carlisle  Thread  Mill — 80  hands,  pay  roll  $2,200,  use  team  power 
for  about  one-sixth  of  the  mill. 

American  Mills  —  fancy  cassimeres  —  employ  190  hands,  with  a 
monthly  pay  roll  of  $6,000.  They  have  averaged  about  five  hours  daily 
the  past  week,  being  dependent  entirely  upon  water  for  power. 

Rock  Manufacturing  Company— -fancy  cassimeres — 180  hands,  pay 
roll  $7,000.  Main  Mill  dependent  entirely  upon  water,  running  their 
four-set  mill  with  a  thirty-five  horsepower  engine. 

Fitch's  Stockinet  Mill — 20  hands,  pay  roll  $600;  use  only  water  for 
power,  but  are  enlarging  and  refitting,  and  propose  to  put  in  steam  if 
necessary  when   the   improvements   shall   be   completed. 

Leeds  Woolen  Company — 80  hands,  pay  roll  $2,000,  have  only  water 
power,  and  consequently  run  short  time. 

White  Manufacturing  Company — Ginghams — 120  hands,  pay  roll 
$3,000,  water  power,  short  time. 

White,  Corbin  &  Company — Envelopes — 60  hands,  pay  roll  $2,000, 
water  power  only;  machinery  light,  and  able  to  run  more  hours  than 
the  woolen  mills. 

New  England  Company  —  fancy  cassimeres  —  125  hands,  pay  roll 
$4,000;  water  power  only. 

Florence  Mill — beavers,  tricots,  etc. — 230  hands,  pay  roll  $7,500, 
running  full  time,  using  a  steam  engine  sufficient  for  all  their  machinery. 

Springville  Company — black  satinets — 50  hands,  pay  roll  $1,800, 
water  power  only. 

Hockanum  Company — fancy  cassimeres — 125  hands,  pay  roll  $3,000. 
This  Company  is  now  introducing  steam  power,  having  an  80  horse 
engine  which  will  run  the  entire  mill.  They  expect  to  be  ready  to  run 
full  time  after  next  Monday. 

Snipsic  Mill — 50  hands,  pay  roll  $1,000,  have  an  engine  of  25  horse 
power  which,  with  what  water  they  get,  carries  all  their  machinery  full 

Windermere  Woolen  Company — 130  hands,  pay  roll  $3,800,  water 
power  only.  The  Windermere  Mill  is  not  included  in  our  historical 
sketch  because  it  is  in  the  Town  of  Ellington.  In  the  time  of  the  Civil 
War  it  prospered  in  the  little  village.  The  building  still  stands — just 
a  memory  of  the  past. 



The  New  England  Company  received  the  highest  prize  at  the 
World's  Exposition  at  Vienna  in  1876 — The  Medal  of  Merit — the 
highest  medal  awarded  for  fine,  fancy  cassimeres.  The  Cincin- 
nati Exposition  of  1885  reported  by  the  Chicago  Republican  states: 

"Another  of  the  curiosities  of  the  Exposition  is  a  dis- 
play of  several  bales  of  raw  silk,  just  as  prepared  for  manu- 
facturing purposes.  The  raw  silk  shown  is  of  China 
growth,  the  first  being  Tsatlee,  and  the  two  poorer  grades 
being  Canton.  Belding  Brothers  and  Company  has  the 
largest  exhibition  of  silk  goods  that  is  shown,  and  the  desk 
at  which  they  display  their  goods  has  been  the  center  of 
a  crowd  of  ladies  during  the  whole  day.  Nothing  is  shown 
in  this  class  which  equals  their  exhibition." 

At  the  Exposition  at  New  Orleans  in  1885  a  list  of  awards  in- 
cluded— Belding  Brothers  and  Co.,  Medal  of  First  Class  for  Gen- 
eral Display  of  Manufactured  Silk;  Medal  of  First  Class  for  Shoe 
Manufacturer's  Silk;  Medal  of  First  Class  for  Knitting  Silk;  Medal 
of  First  Class  for  Machine  Twist. 

The  Springville  Manufacturing  Company  in  March  4,  1889, 
made  the  Inauguration  Cloth  for  President  Benjamin  Harrison  and 
Vice-President  Levi  P.  Morton.  A  sample  of  the  cloth  may  be  seen 
in  the  Rockville  Public  Library. 

The  Rock  Manufacturing  Company  made  the  cloth  worn  by 
President  Harrison  and  Vice-President  Levi  P.  Morton  at  the  Cen- 
tennial Celebration  of  the  Inauguration  of  George  Washington  as 
President  of  the  United  States  in  New  York  City,  April  30,  1889. 
The  cloth  "Clay  Twill"  was  made  from  a  very  fine  grade  of  worsted 
yarn.  There  were  six  thousand,  seven  hundred  ends,  and  one  hun- 
dred and  twelve  picks  of  filling  to  the  inch,  the  dye  being  alizarin. 

The  official  announcement  of  the  Columbian  Exposition  in 
Chicago  in  1895  states: 



"The  Hockanum  Company — and,  of  course,  the 
Springville  and  New  England  in  connection  with  it — 
manufactures  fancy  worsteds  and  woolens  that  deserve 
the  highest  praise  for  excellence  of  design  and  fabrica- 
tion, and  the  best  of  all  the  cloth  exhibited  by  Americans 
at  the  world's  greatest  fair.  The  patterns  leave  nothing 
to  be  desired  in  design  and  quality  of  fabric,  and  stand 
on  an  equality  with  the  very  best  English  fabrics." 

The  suit  worn  by  President  McKinley  at  his  inauguration  in 
1897  was  made  of  cloth  from  the  Hockanum  Mills  Company,  and 
George  Sykes,  president  of  the  company,  received  from  President 
McKinley 's  tailor,  Henry  Koebel,  Cleveland,  Ohio,  this  note  of 
praise:  "I  consider  the  goods  as  fine  in  make  and  finish  and  as  per- 
fect as  any  English  goods  which  have  in  the  many  years  of  my 
career  come  under  my  observation."  It  took  four  months  to  secure 
yarn  of  desired  fineness  and  quality. 

In  1905  the  cloth  for  the  inaugural  suits  worn  by  President 
Theodore  Roosevelt  and  Vice-President  Fairbanks  was  made  by 
the  Springville  Manufacturing  Company,  plain  black  in  color,  and 
of  a  special  design  of  the  finest  possible  quality. 





Previous  to  the  erection  of  Union  Hall  on  Market  Street,  in  the 
year  1849,  there  was  no  public  hall  of  a  considerable  size  in  the 
village.  A  diminutive  hall  in  the  Snipsic  Block,  which  the  old  First 
Congregational  Church  used  as  a  conference  room,  was  not  large 
enough  for  social  purposes.  Young  people  wanted  amusement, 
and  there  was  a  clamor  for  a  dance  hall. 

Jabez  Sears,  a  conscientious  businessman,  more  liberal  than 
many  of  his  associates  in  village  affairs,  saw  the  need,  and  decided 
to  build  Union  Hall.  It  was  built  of  light  wood,  and  stood  on 
stilts,  with  a  meat  market  on  the  first  floor  for  revenue,  and  a 
large  room  for  sociables  and  dances  on  the  second  floor.  When 
the  proposition  was  made  known  there  was  great  excitement.  The 
Puritan  fathers  claimed  the  movement  was  inspired  by  the  evil 

Nevertheless,  the  poisonous  shafts  of  dissent  were  of  no  avail 
against  the  determination  of  Jabez  Sears.  The  work  upon  the 
building  progressed,  and  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  1849,  the  first  dance 
was  held  in  the  crowded  hall. 

After  the  young  people  had  tasted  of  the  sweets  of  Terpsichore 
they  demanded  a  greater  knowledge  of  the  art,  and  engaged 
Prompter  Sibley  and  Musician  Shaw,  who  soon  caused  their  awk- 
wardness on  the  wax  floor  to  change  to  grace. 

"Union  Hall"  was  upon  the  sign  which  hung  at,  the  entrance  to 
the  building.  Opposition  lost  its  enthusiasm  very  soon,  and  the 
hall  in  1850  was  rented  to  the  Baptist  Society,  and  in  1855  St. 
Bernard's  parishioners  held  services  there,  investing  it  with  a  spe- 
cial aura.  Tolland  County  Gleaner  and  Tolland  County  Leader 
were  both  printed  in  this  building  for  a  short  time. 

Happily,  the  old  Sears  Hall  began  a  boom  in  building  opera- 
tions in  Rockville  which  continued  for  about  forty  years.  The 
meat  market  on  the  first  floor  was  sold  to  Asaph  McKinney  &  Com- 
pany, with  a  full  line  of  market  produce  and  groceries. 

A  young  man  attended  religious  services  at  the  Hall  one  Sun- 
day morning,  and  on  leaving  remarked:  "Good  meeting,  but  the 
market  below  smells  bad!" 




Three  cellars  were  constructed  under  the  building.  The  lower 
cellar  was  used  for  storage;  the  second  in  the  manufacture  of  lard, 
sausages,  etc.,  and  the  upper  one  by  the  bottling  establishment  of 
Bacon  Brothers.  The  village  lock-up  was  on  this  floor,  and  first 
consisted  of  three  small  cells.  Later  a  more  commodious  place  of 
detention  was  constructed  in  front  of  this  cellar  with  an  entrance 
south  of  the  building  itself. 

For  several  years  it  was  used  for  dancing  and  parties.  In  the 
Fall  of  1876  A.  W.  Phillips  leased  the  rooms  and  fitted  and  stocked 
them  for  a  printing  office.  As  an  inducement  to  do  this,  he  was 
awarded  the  contract  for  printing  the  Tolland  County  Gleaner — 
a  little  five-column  four  page  paper.  An  enlargement  was  made, 
and  the  Gleaner  was  sold  to  Mr.  Phillips  who  afterward  sold  it  with 
office  and  material  to  a  Mr.  Washburn  of  New  York.  But  after 
a  brief  stay  he  returned  to  New  York,  and  the  Gleaner  ceased  pub- 
lication. The  building  in  1887  was  dedicated  as  a  Salvation  Army 
Temple,  and  now  stands  unoccupied  on  Brooklvn  Street. 



The  second  playhouse  in  Rockville,  situated  at  the  corner  ol 
Market  and  Brooklyn  Streets,  directly  opposite  the  railroad  depot, 
was  opened  on  Friday  and  Saturday  evenings,  November  12  and 
13,  1869,  with  two  grand  dedicatory  concerts  of  instrumental  and 
vocal  music  by  Krebb's  celebrated  concert  troupe  of  Boston.  Orig- 
inally the  building  was  the  Second  Meeting  House  of  Ellington 
in  1806.  Cyrus  White  bought  it,  took  it  down,  and  later  moved  it 
to  Market  and  Brooklyn  Streets  in  Rockville. 

The  building  was  large  and  commodious,  illuminated  with  gas 
jets  in  front,  and  a  large  and  brilliant  reflector  near  the  roof.  The 
entrance  to  the  building  was  up  two  flights  of  wide  stairs,  and  the 
interior  of  the  hall  presented  quite  an  attractive  appearance,  the 
walls  and  ceiling  being  handsomely  frescoed,  and  lighted  with  some 
twenty  chandeliers  and  gas  burners.  The  stage  was  22  x  30  and 
had  four  private  boxes,  with  good  scenery,  footlights,  and  all  the 
necessary  paraphernalia  for  giving  theatrical  entertainments.  The 
hall  and  gallery  were  capable  of  seating  770  persons,  and  pro- 
vision was  made  for  200  extra  chairs.  The  size  of  the  hall  was 
90  x  48  feet.    The  gallery  had  168  seats. 

A  large  party  came  from  Hartford  on  the  6:20  p.m.  special 
train  to  attend  the  grand  opening  concert.  Governor  Jewell  and 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Gage,  together  with  other  well-known  citizens,  were 
among  the  visitors.  Governor  Jewell  occupied  one  of  the  private 

It  is  interesting  now  to  observe  the  regulations  strictly  enforced 
— no  smoking  or  tobacco  chewing  or  unnecessary  spitting  upon 
the  floor.  No  standing  or  treading  upon  the  seats.  No  stamping 
except  in  expressing  applause.  No  whistling  or  pointing  or  any 
unseemingly,  indecorous  or  improper  conduct  were  permitted  upon 
the  floor  of  the  hall. 

The  concert  was  a  fine  affair,  a  good  programme  of  both 
vocal  and  instrumental  music  having  been  selected,  and  a  talented 
corps  of  artists  from  Boston  performed  their  various  parts  to  the 
great  satisfaction  of  all  present.  Mrs.  Josie  Logan,  a  contralto 
singer  with  a  very  sweet  voice  and  exuberant  personality,  favored 
the  audience  with  several  beautiful  ballads,  and  received  various 
encores.  Professor  Wallach,  of  Boston,  performed  several  fine  airs 
on  three  different  harmonicas,  imitating  a  brass  band,  a  violin  and 



other  musical  instruments.  The  humorous  songs  of  Mr.  H.  C.  Bar- 
nabee  were  finely  rendered,  and  the  performances  of  Carl  and 
Gustav  Krebb  upon  the  piano,  flute,  and  clarinet  were  all  excellent. 

At  the  close  of  the  concert,  Governor  Jewell  was  introduced 
by  Mr.  Cyrus  White,  and  made  a  few  felicitous  remarks.  He  con- 
gratulated the  proprietor  upon  his  enterprise  in  building  such  a 
magnificent  hall — one  of  the  finest  in  the  State,  and  not  to  be 
excelled  by  some  of  our  larger  cities.  It  is  a  want  that  the  citizens 
of  Rockville  must  appreciate,  and  he  trusted  the  enterprising  pro- 
prietor would  be  amply  remunerated. 

The  decorations,  carpets,  etc.,  were  furnished  from  the  well- 
known  house  of  Talcott  &  Post,  of  this  city,  and  the  frescoing  was 
done  by  Boston  artists. 

"An  old  school  boy,"  looking  back  forty-five  years,  described 
the  shows  he  enjoyed  in  the  Opera  House.  He  wrote  of  "Uncle 
Tom's  Cabin" — the  really  genuine  article,  two  or  three  Evas,  cer- 
tain blood  hounds  and  jackasses.  "I  actually  got  excused  from 
school  one  afternoon  to  attend  the  matinee,"  he  wrote. 

He  commented  on  the  great  usefulness  of  the  Opera  House. 
There  were  Good  Samaritan  meetings  Sunday  afternoons,  with  ad- 
dresses by  famous  temperance  people;  lecture  courses  of  a  high 
character — Wendell  Phillips  was  on  one  of  the  programs.  Political 
rallies  were  stirring.  Senator  Eaton  could  march  up  and  down 
that  stage,  stopping  at  either  end  to  wave  his  fists  in  the  air  while 
his  knees  bent  under  him,  and  from  his  thin  lips  poured  forth 
sarcasm,  invective  or  eulogy,  as  the  circumstances  demanded. 

School  children  gave  their  concerts  there,  seated  on  benches 
built  upon  the  stage.  The  first  graduation  exercises  of  the  Rock- 
ville High  School  were  held  there,  most  awesomely.  The  Opera 
House  was  the  entertainment  center,  the  intellectual  center  of  a 
mighty  wide-awake  community. 

On  January  17,  1924,  there  was  a  $3,500  blaze  in  the  Opera 
House,  which  gutted  the  rear  of  the  building.  Thursday's  issue  of 
the  Journal  was  being  printed  at  the  time  the  fire  was  discovered, 
at  4  o'clock,  and  the  entire  issue  was  so  soaked  with  water  that 
another  issue  had  to  be  printed  Friday  morning.  The  entire  build- 
ing was  completely  destroyed  by  fire  March  20,  1941. 


The  Henry  Hall,  later  known  as  The  Henry  Opera  House,  on 
the  third  floor  of  the  substantial  Henry  Building  in  the  center  of 
the  city,  was  opened  to  the  public  on  Friday  evening,  March  5, 
1830.  The  theater  was  fitted  up  in  the  best  style  and  at  great  ex- 
pense. The  frescoing  was  done  by  Whittaker  Brothers  of  Massa- 
chusetts. The  design  upon  the  ceiling  had  for  the  center  of  each 
of  the  four  sides  full  length  female  figures  representing  the  god- 
desses of  Liberty,  Justice,  Tragedy,  and  Music.  The  drop  curtain, 
a  scene  from  Venice,  was  painted  by  the  famous  Charles  Brandt, 
of  New  York.  The  hall  was  capable  of  holding  about  1,000  people. 
Ushers  in  formal  dress  greeted  and  seated  the  audience.  For  sev- 
eral years  Tom  Adams,  Frank  Adams,  Robert  McChristie  and 
Walter  E.  Payne  distinguished  themselves  in  this  capacity.  In 
those  days  theatres  were  lighted  by  gas.  The  footlights,  the  stage, 
and  all  the  lights  about  the  house  were  of  gas. 

One  of  the  best  theatrical  and  musical  entertainments  in  the 
country  was  presented  on  the  opening  night — the  splendid  drama 
"The  Unknown,"  with  John  A.  Stevens  supported  by  twelve  star 
actors,  after  playing  a  long  engagement  at  Haverly's  Theater  in 




New  York.  Gilmore's  celebrated  orchestra  furnished  music.  The 
admission  was  75  cents,  reserved  seats  $1.00  and  $1.25,  boxes  $10.00. 
The  receipts  were  $500.     The  actors  took  60%;  Music  cost  $150. 

For  years  the  theatre  entertained  the  populace  with  many  a 
fine  minstrel  show  and  play.  It  housed  many  famed  actors  and 
actresses  of  the  day.  The  seats  are  now  removed,  most  of  the 
props  gone  and  the  play-house  is  tenanted  by  spiders  instead  of 
audiences,  but  the  ancient  Opera  House  still  remains  in  the  Henry 
Building.  Old  billings  still  cling  to  the  walls,  back  stage,  and  the 
dressing  rooms  contain  the  pencil-scribbled  notations  of  those  who 
played  the  house  years  ago. 

A  generation  after  the  Henry  Opera  House  had  gone  out  of 
business,  a  Rockville  Journal  representative  visited  the  Old  Play 
House,  and  his  vivid  description  of  it  gives  us  a  picture  of  its  de- 
parted glory.  This  newsman  walked  the  floors  covered  with  dust 
which  had  accumulated  during  the  years.  He  glanced  up  at  the 
roof.  The  former  beautiful  ceiling,  with  its  many  fine  pictures, 
its  attractive  painting,  its  splendid  workmanship  was  in  ruins. 

To  the  left  and  right  of  the  stage  he  observed  the  two  special 
boxes,  where  folks  of  a  generation  ago,  as  they  sat  in  the  gallery 
or  the  main  floor,  some  day  hoped  to  sit.  The  gallery  or  balcony 
was  beautiful,  shaped  like  a  horseshoe. 

The  Journal  representative  walked  hurriedly  across  the  stage. 
It  also  was  covered  with  dust.  Then  looking  ahead,  he  saw  what 
he  had  often  heard  about — the  lithographs  of  a  few  of  the  hun- 
dreds of  artists  who  had  played  on  the  Henry  stage.  After  read- 
ing the  names,  looking  at  the  pictures,  reading  comments  on  the 
lithographs,  and  then  looking  over  the  stage  once  more,  it  seemed 
to  him  a  pity  that  the  voices  which  once  spoke  and  sang  in  Henry 
Hall  could  not  be  brought  back  for  a  single  night. 

The  first  lithograph  was  that  of  Dennian  Thompson  who  ap- 
peared at  the  Henry  House  as  "Joshua  Whitcomb."  He  had  ap- 
peared 250  times  in  Chicago,  103  times  in  San  Francisco,  13  con- 
secutive weeks  in  New  York  City,  4  consecutive  weeks  in  Boston, 
and  he  appeared  June  8,  1881,  at  Henry  Hall.  An  excellent  like- 
ness of  Joshua  himself  was  pasted  on  the  wall — a  pleasant  memory 
of  one  of  America's  greatest  artists. 

The  Henry  Opera  House  was  finally  condemned  because  of  an 
unsafe  balcony. 


That  indefatigable  reporter,  Stephen  Von  Euw,  in  the  Rock- 
ville  Journal  of  July  9,  1949,  entertained  readers  with  quite  a  list 
of  prices  of  various  commodities  just  before  the  Civil  War. 

Here  are  some  of  them: 

Pair  ladies'  slippers  500 

One  pair  kid  gloves  $1.00 

One  pair  lisle  gloves  250 

Neckties    900 

Two  shawls  $4.50 

A  Coat  $14.00 

A  Cap  $1.25 

One  pair  pants  and  vests  $9.00 

One  moleskin  hat  $4.00 

One  parasol  $2.25 

Pair  of  shoes  $1.25 

One  razor  strap  and  brush  670 

One  lb.  tea  440 
2  lbs.  coffee  400 

2  lbs.  raisins  280 
A  dozen  lemons  180 

3  lbs.  butter  600 
Barrel  flour  $8.25 
Bushel  potatoes  620 
Half-gallon  molasses  720 
Cake  of  Yankee  soap  120 
Plug  tobacco  30 
1  lb.  starch  110 

5  lbs.  turkey  $1.75 

In  those  days  it  was  considered  proper  for  officials  doing  offi- 
cial work  to  have  the  town  pay  for  their  meals. 

Dinners  for  Board  of  Relief  $1.50 
18  meals  for  Civil  Authority  $18.00 

According  to  Benjamin  Ashley  of  Vernon  in  the  early  part  of 
the  nineteenth  century  a  flip  and  a  sling  were  indulged  in  bv  very 
respectable  people.  A  flip  was  a  sweetened  drink  consisting  of 
ale,  beer,  cider,  sometimes  containing  an  egg  or  two,  heated,  stirred 
with  a  hot  iron  to  give  it  a  burnt  taste.  A  sling  was  a  gin  with 
water,  sweetened. 

1000  lbs.  coal  $5.75 

Two  cords  of  wood  $12.50 

8  cords  of  wood  $21.87 

Boarding  three  months  $42,25 
Board,  woman  and  child 
15  weeks  $30.00 

Six  days'  labor,  self  and  boy  $27.00 
20%  days,  horse  and  cart  $60.75 
Labor  moving  tree  $3.00 
Labor  1  day  two  masons  $6.00 
Keeping  traveler  over  night  $1.00 

Funerals : 
Fenelon  McCollum 

Coffin  and  hearse  $14.00 
Two  coffins  and  two  hearses  $28.00 
Peter  Wendheiser 

Coffin  and  shroud  $12.00 
Cash  to  two  strangers  $1.00 
Cash   to   three   tramps   at   Keeney's 

One  gill  of  brandy — 12  cents 
Brandy,   half-gill  with  rye   and 

cheese — 31  cents 
Milk  per  quart — 5  cents 
Cider,  a  barrel— $6.00 

Sirloin  steak  per  lb. — 23  cents 
Rib  roast  per  lb. — 20  cents 
Lamb  and  mutton  per  lb. — 25  cents 
Pork,  per  lb. — 20  cents 



Title  Page 

The  First  Congregational  Church  of  Rockville 135 

The  Lecture  Room  141 

The  Second  Congregational  Church  144 

The  Union  Congregational  Church   147 

Dedication  of  Carillon  Bells  in  Union  Church  154 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  of  Rockville 156 

Vernon  Methodist  Church    165 

The  Baptist  Church   170 

Saint  Bernard's  Parish   177 

The  First  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church  184 

The  German  Evangelical  Lutheran  Trinity  Church 188 

Saint  John's  Episcopal  Church 190 

The  Apostolic  Christian  Church   194 

Saint  Joseph's  Church   195 

The  First  African  Baptist  Church 198 

B'nai  Israel  Synagogue   199 

Talcottville  Congregational  Church   201 

The  Salvation  Army 204 

First  Church  of  Christ  Scientist 206 

Young  Men's  Christian  Association 208 

Jehovah's  Witnesses    208 

Unitarians  209 

Spiritualists    209 


Title  Page 

The  Lecture  Room  and  First  Congregational  Church 135 

Second  Congregational  Church   143 

Union  Congregational  Church  146 

Methodist  Episcopal  Church   155 

Vernon  Methodist  Church    164 

The  Baptist  Church   169 

St.  Bernard's  Church   176 

St.  Bernard's  Parochial   School    179 

Sacred  Heart  Church  of  Vernon   182 

The  First  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church   183 

The  German  Evangelical  Lutheran  Trinity  Church 187 

St.  John's  Episcopal  Church 190 

Saint  Joseph's  Church   196 

Saint  Joseph's  Parochial  School  196 

B'nai  Israel  Synagogue 198 

Talcottville  Congregational  Church    200 

Salvation  Army  Temple 204 

First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist  206 



The  influence  of  the  Rev.  Ebenezer  Kellogg  for  many  years 
lingered  over  the  sanctuary  and  transformed  the  humble  meeting 
house  at  Vernon  into  a  shrine.  Quite  a  number  of  people  living 
in  Rockville  at  that  time  made  their  pilgrimage  to  Vernon  to  wor- 
ship every  Sabbath.  Allyn  Stanley  Kellogg,  recalling  his  childhood 
days,  tells  of  the  large  number  of  men  who  used  to  pass  his  father's 
house  on  foot  every  Sunday  on  their  way  to  Meeting  House  at  the 
Center.  "One  man,"  he  writes,  "made  the  journey  on  such  a  lowly 
beast  as  some  of  the  ancient  prophets  rode."  "But,"  he  adds  with 
emphasis,  "the  most  noticeable  sight  of  the  day  was  the  large  team 
wagon  of  the  Rock  Company,  with  four  horses  driven  by  John 
Chapman,  Jr.,  fully  loaded  with  girls  from  the  Rock  factory." 

A  preliminary  step  toward  the  establishment  of  the  first  Con- 
gregational Church  in  Rockville  was  in  the  form  of  a  petition 
drafted  and  signed  by  fourteen  Christian  people  on  November  1, 
1836:  "Whereas  the  population  in  that  part  of  Vernon  lying  on  the 
Hockanum  river  between  the  site  now  occupied  by  the  Stone  Mill 



Company  and  the  site  of  the  Saxony  Company  already  amounts  to 
more  than  400,  and  the  prospect  of  an  immediate  increase  from 
occupying  the  mill  privileges  on  the  stream  now  unoccupied  is 
such,  and  the  distance  to  the  Center  of  the  Town  being  such  that 
but  few  of  the  population  are  able  to  go  there  statedly  on  the  Sab- 
bath, therefore, 

Resolved,  That  an  Ecclesiastical  Society  ought  to  be 
immediately  organized  in  this  part  of  the  Town." 

The  desire  for  a  place  of  worship  in  the  village  was  first  ex- 
pressed to  the  Church  at  Vernon  at  a  meeting  held  on  the  11th  of 
November,  1836,  when,  according  to  the  records,  "a  petition  was 
made  by  the  several  members  residing  in  the  north  part  of  the 
Town,  for  permission  to  meet  and  enjoy  the  ordinances  of  the 
Gospel  by  themselves,  during  the  ensuing  season."  A  committee 
consisting  of  the  pastor,  and  Deacon  Flavel  Talcott,  Messrs.  Thomas 
Wright  Kellogg,  John  Chapman  and  George  Kellogg,  was  ap- 
pointed to  consider  this  petition,  and  report  at  a  future  meeting. 
At  a  meeting  held  one  week  later,  the  petition  was  granted. 

No  time  was  lost,  and  the  sponsors  of  the  movement  at  a 
meeting  held  on  November  30,  1836,  pledged  their  word: 

"We,  the  subscribers,  agree  to  pay  on  demand  to 
either  George  Kellogg,  Alonzo  Bailey  or  Andrew  W.  Tracy, 
for  the  purpose  of  supporting  a  minister  of  the  Congre- 
gationalist  order,  to  preach  until  the  first  of  May,  1837, 
in  the  conference  room  recently  built  by  the  Rock  Manu- 
facturing Company  the  sums  respectively  annexed  to  our 
names.  About  65  persons  subscribed  the  sum  approxi- 
mately $175." 

At  once,  Rev.  Bennett  Tyler,  D.D.,  of  East  Windsor,  began 
the  work  of  preaching  to  the  small  group,  in  December,  1836,  and 
the  following  year  Rev.  Diodate  Brockway,  a  Yale  College  and 
Divinity  graduate,  and  minister  of  Ellington  Church  for  fifty  years 
1799-1849  became  stated  supply.  A  season  of  refreshing  from  the 
Lord  followed;  many  people  were  soundly  converted.  A  Sabbath 
school  of  one  hundred  children  was  organized  under  the  leader- 
ship of  Andrew  W.  Tracy,  "a  man  always  bubbling  over  with  fun 
and  good  nature  without  a  sour  or  melancholy  spot  in  him." 
Articles  of  faith  and  a  covenant  were  adopted,  the  ministers  of 
Ellington,  Coventry,  Vernon  and  Tolland  were  invited,  and  meet- 


ing  in  council  on  the  26th  of  October,  1837,  duly  organized  a 
Church  to  be  known  as  the  Second  Congregational  Church  in 
Vernon  or  the  First  Congregational  Church  in  Rockville  with  the 
following  members: 

Daniel  Chapman,  John  Cushman,  Nehemiah  Daniels,  Lorinda 
Daniels,  Halsey  Fuller,  Lydia  Fuller,  Eli  Hammond,  Sarah  Ham- 
mond, Persis  Hammond,  Allen  Hammond,  Orra  P.  Hammond, 
Lucius  Hinkley,  Laura  W.  Hinkley,  Seth  W.  Johnson,  George  Kel- 
logg, Eliza  N.  Kellogg,  Clarissa  McLean,  Phineas  Talcott,  Philo- 
mela Talcott,  Miner  Preston,  Louisa  J.  Porter,  Andrew  W.  Tracy, 
Emeline  T.  Tracy,  Horace  Vinton,  Rufus  West,  Lois  G.  West, 
Nathaniel  C.  Warren,  Simon  C.  Chapman,  Jerusha  Chapman,  Aus- 
tin McKinney,  Amanda  McKinney,  Taey  Stebbins,  Edward  Hall, 
Charles  H.  Merrick,  Mary  Ann  Merrick,  Rufus  F.  Fay,  Margaret 
M.  Fay,  Horace  Thompson,  Roena  T.  Thompson. 

On  March  14,  1837,  a  meeting  was  held  to  decide  "whether 
the  Society  will  do  anything  about  building  a  Meeting  House  or 
not."  It  was  decided  by  ten  yeas  and  two  nays.  George  Kellogg, 
Alonzo  Bailey,  and  Phineas  Talcott  were  appointed  a  committee 
to  do  five  things:  to  solicit  subscriptions — a  delightful  task;  to 
secure  a  site;  to  affix  a  stake;  to  procure  a  plan,  and  to  make  an 
estimate  of  the  probable  expense  of  the  Meeting  House. 

With  commendable  eagerness  the  committee  went  forth,  and 
two  days  later,  March  16,  1837,  reported  that  "the  spot  of  ground 
on  the  Hill  immediately  east  of  the  Lecture  Room  is  the  only 
proper  one  on  which  the  Meeting  House  should  be  erected,  there- 
fore they  have  affixed  there  a  stake." 

But  enthusiasm  waned,  hope  began  to  flicker  and  fail,  and  the 
building  project  was  delayed.  Then  at  a  meeting  on  December 
26,  1837,  flying  their  little  flag  of  cheerful  courage,  the  committee 
on  ways  and  means  introduced  a  financial  plan,  which  was  adopted, 
whereby  the  necessary  $4,500  would  be  raised  before  the  first  of 
April,  1838,  each  subscriber  to  pay  his  amount  in  five  equal  install- 
ments, the  first  on  April  1,  1838,  and  the  rest  at  intervals  of  three 
months.  Thus  at  last,  after  many  discouragements,  the  Meeting 
House  of  the  First  Congregational  Church  in  Rockville  was  built 
by  Wm.  T.  Cogswell  on  the  site  of  our  present  Memorial  Town 
Hall  at  a  cost  of  $4,500,  raised  by  voluntary  subscriptions. 

The  First  Congregational  Church  of  Rockville,  following  the 
example  of  our  Lord,  called  twelve  leaders,  but  without  a  Judas. 
Just  as  one  star  differeth  from  another  star  in  glory,  so  one  min- 


ister  differeth  from  another  minister  in  temperament,  gifts,  and 
personality.  And  among  the  ministers  of  the  First  Church  there 
were  diversities  of  gifts.  There  had  been  two  years  of  planting 
by  ministers  Tyler  and  Brockway  when  Rev.  Ansel  Nash  began 
his  ministry  here  in  1839,  at  a  salary  of  $600  per  annum.  A  grad- 
uate of  Williams  College  and  Andover  Seminary — a  good  prepara- 
tion for  the  ministry — he  was  installed  on  the  30th  of  January, 
1839,  but  as  early  as  July,  1841,  the  pastoral  relationship  was  dis- 
solved. Conscious  of  failure,  Mr.  Nash  at  the  end  of  the  first  year 
proposed  to  relinquish  one  hundred  dollars  of  his  stipulated  salary 
for  the  current  year,  and  the  church  actually  accepted  his  offer, 
but  at  the  end  of  the  second  year,  to  save  further  embarrassment, 
a  committee  appointed  to  smooth  out  the  path  of  his  ambition  took 
him  up  into  a  high  mountain,  showed  him  the  glory  of  the  larger 
world,  and  pointed  to  a  bountiful  harvest  then  waiting  for  laborers 
in  the  fields.  And  as  the  shepherd  reads  the  sky,  so  Mr.  Nash  in- 
terpreted the  sign,  and  left. 

On  the  21st  September,  1842,  the  church  decided  "to  hire 
the  Rev.  Augustus  Pomeroy  to  supply  the  desk  to  the  first  of 
April  next  at  $600  a  year."  He,  too,  was  a  graduate  of  Williams 
and  Andover,  and  he,  too,  stayed  only  two  years. 

Then  came  to  the  church  in  the  year  1845  the  man  for  the 
hour — Rev.  Horace  Winslow — a  man  best  described  by  Uncle 
George  M.  Brown,  a  Rockville  institution  of  four-score  years  ago, 
as  "a  hustler  and  a  right  smart  Gospel  preacher."  Horace  Winslow 
was  installed  in  October,  and  in  the  following  spring  a  revival 
swept  the  village,  sinners  forsook  the  seat  of  the  scornful,  and  a 
large  number  united  with  the  church.  Things  began  to  happen. 
The  Meeting  House  was  enlarged;  side  seats  in  the  galleries  were 
added  at  a  cost  of  $1500;  an  excavation  was  made  under  the 
church  for  the  installation  of  a  furnace;  the  outside  of  the  Lecture 
Room  was  painted;  the  unsightly  horse-sheds  were  removed;  the 
first  pipe  organ  in  a  Rockville  church  was  purchased  at  a  bargain 
price  from  John  W.  Thayer.  John  Newton  Stickney,  a  stockholder 
and  director  of  the  Florence  and  Carlisle  Mills,  which  both  failed, 
was  for  twelve  years  the  faithful  organist,  serving  without  pay. 

Mr.  Winslow  was  a  community  man.  He  was  interested  also  in 
the  people  outside  the  church.  He  contributed  to  the  beauty  of  the 
church  surroundings.  Before  he  had  really  unpacked  his  private 
library  of  books,  he  proposed  to  the  members  that  the  approach  to 
the  church  be  made  more  attractive.     As  a  result  of  his  efforts, 


trees  were  planted,  the  land  was  graded,  two  fountains  were  erect- 
ed, and  the  general  appearance  of  the  village  was  materially  im- 

He  made  for  himself  a  good  reputation  by  organizing  a  Cold 
Water  Army  among  the  children.  Mrs.  Mary  Brigham,  now  of 
sacred  memory,  often  recalled  with  fondness  that  institution.  Oc- 
casionally on  public  holidays  the  Army  would  parade  the  streets 
headed  by  the  old  fifers  and  drummers,  singing  the  temperance 
songs  they  had  learned  under  the  leadership  of  Rev.  Horace 
Winslow.  Mrs.  Brigham,  by  the  way,  lived  to  the  remarkable  age 
of  101. 

Popular  though  he  was,  bringing  the  church  membership  to 
246,  Rev.  Horace  Winslow  did  not  please  all  his  parishioners.  He 
owned  the  best  horses  in  Rockville.  Others  had  fine  horses,  but 
somebody  spoke  for  everybody  when  he  remarked:  "Horace  never 
took  anybody's  dust."  Rev.  Henry  Ward  Beecher  would  have 
commended  his  good  sense.  "If  you  want  to  size  up  a  community," 
said  the  great  preacher,  "look  at  the  horses.  If  they  are  slow  or 
ill-fed,  get  out  of  that  community  as  fast  as  you  can."  Such  was 
his  counsel  to  all  candidates  for  country  churches.  But  some  Con- 
gregationalists  in  Rockville  did  not  exactly  like  the  sight  of  their 
minister  driving  like  Jehu  of  Old  Testament  fame  and  they  rebuked 

George  Brown  reminiscently  reminds  us:  "Anyone  taking  Sun- 
day papers  in  Rockville  in  1845  would  have  been  called  crazy.  It 
was  'Read  and  study  the  good  old  Family  Bible,'  and  it  was  'Go  to 
church  every  Sunday.'  If  the  factory  employee  did  not  go  to 
church  Sunday  he  or  she  would  get  a  lecture  from  the  agent  Mon- 
day morning.  The  men  who  shaped  the  affairs  of  the  town  and 
conducted  the  mills  were  very  strict  on  the  question  of  Sabbath 
observance.  There  were  morning,  afternoon  and  evening  services 
and  Sabbath  School  and  Thursday  evening  prayer  meeting." 

Dark  days  followed  for  the  church.  True,  it  did  seem  quite 
appropriate  that  the  next  minister's  name  should  be  Ray — Rev. 
John  W.  Ray.  My  good  friend,  Phineas  Talcott,  was  the  authority 
for  the  statement  that  one  night  in  Meeting  the  lights  went  out 
while  Rev.  John  Ray  was  preaching,  and  the  minister,  rising  splen- 
didly to  the  occasion,  announced:  "There  is  still  a  Ray  left."  But 
even  that  ray  was  soon  extinguished.  A  Dartmouth  graduate, 
teacher  in  Academy  and  Normal  School,  he  had  difficulty  in  lead- 
ing the  congregation  into  the  higher  life  of  faith.     There  was  gen- 


eral  confusion.  The  church  was  compelled  to  secure  a  loan  of 
$2500,  the  bass  viol  of  the  society  was  lost,  many  members  with- 
drew, and  were  very  emphatic  about  their  withdrawal. 

Into  this  deplorable  condition  came  Rev.  Smith  Bartlett 
Goodenow,  a  man  from  Maine  and  a  graduate  of  Bowdoin  College. 
But  he  resigned  after  only  one  year  because  of  "pecuniary  embar- 
rassment." His  salary  was  $1000  (when  he  received  it),  and  the 
annual  report  showed  a  declining  church  with  a  membership  of 
only  118. 

As  welcome  as  sunshine  after  rain  was  the  ministry  of  Rev. 
Avery  Skinner  Walker,  who  was  installed  in  1861,  and  actually 
stayed  three  years.  Conditions  began  to  improve,  even  organist 
Fisk  was  paid  $50  for  the  year  and  Chorister  Pinney  the  same 
amount,  though  the  Society  went  on  record  at  that  time:  "The  So- 
ciety deem  it  inexpedient  to  pay  any  money  for  similar  services  ren- 
dered hereafter."  These  brief  pastorates  continued,  and  under 
such  conditions  the  church  could  not  prosper.  The  real  need  of 
the  church  was  longer  pastorates. 

In  the  year  1866  Rev.  Henry  Sylvester  Kelsey,  graduate  of 
Amherst  College  and  Union  Seminary,  then  teacher  of  mathematics 
and  later  a  professor  of  mathematics,  natural  philosophy  and  as- 
tronomy in  Wisconsin,  came  to  the  First  Church.  He  had  no  dif- 
ficulty in  finding  trouble.  Early  in  his  ministry  of  two  years,  he 
invested  money  in  a  local  enterprise,  and  lost  it.  He  denounced 
some  as  belonging  to  a  den  of  thieves,  and  that  statement  created 
more  dissension. 

Like  manna  sent  from  heaven  was  the  coming  to  Rockville  of 
Rev.  Egbert  Byron  Bingham  in  1871.  His  ministry  of  seven  years 
gave  a  new  lease  of  life  to  the  church.  Born  in  Scotland,  Con- 
necticut, he  was  blessed  with  rare  intellectual  powers.  He  was 
unassuming  in  his  bearing  and  strong  in  character.  His  mind  was 
as  clear  as  crystal  and  as  ordered  as  the  stars.  He  became  one  of 
the  editors  of  the  Yale  Literary  Magazine,  a  member  of  the  Yale 
Glee  Club,  and  because  of  his  superior  scholarship  was  accepted 
into  the  select  circle  of  the  Skull  and  Bones  Society.  In  elocution 
he  outranked  his  entire  class  and  at  graduation  in  a  class  of  160 
was  accorded  a  "First  Oration,"  an  honor  then  bestowed  only  upon 
the  four  class  members  of  the  highest  general  standing. 

Serious  throat  trouble  was  the  beginning  of  the  broken  health 
which  cast  a  deep  shadow  over  his  later  life.  In  addition  to  his 
own  personal  affliction,  he  was  called  upon  to  pass  through  the 


fiery  furnace  of  domestic  tribulation  while  in  Rockville,  through 
the  loss  of  his  wife,  who  died  at  the  age  of  28  years,  leaving  an  in- 
fant daughter.  A  very  tender  resolution  of  sympathy  is  spread 
upon  the  records  of  the  First  Church  in  the  year  of  1874.  Mr. 
Bingham  made  many  friends  in  the  community,  and  created  a  new 
interest  in  the  church.  During  his  ministry  extensive  repairs  were 
made  on  the  building,  and  the  kind  offer  of  the  Methodist  Church 
of  their  facilities  was  accepted  with  gratitude. 

The  eleventh  minister  was  Rev.  J.  W.  Backus,  1879-1883.  A 
quiet,  conscientious  worker  and  pastor,  he  won  his  way  into  the 
hearts  of  his  people.  Aside  from  his  academic  training,  it  is  known 
that  Mr.  Backus  had  private  tuition  in  the  art  of  preaching,  his 
wife  being  the  dear  professor.  And  those  who  sat  under  his  min- 
istrations and  enjoyed  his  discourses  claim  that  his  best  sermons 
were  preached  when  his  wife  happened  to  be  absent  from  the  serv- 
ice. The  church  profited  by  his  gracious  and  thoughful  ministry, 
and  on  his  departure  after  four  years  placed  on  record  this  testi- 
mony: "For  nearly  five  years  Mr.  Backus  has  ministered  unto  us 
earnestly  and  acceptably,  and  our  best  wishes  will  follow  him  to 
his  new  field  of  labor  in  Plain ville,  Connecticut." 

Last  but  not  least  of  the  ministers  in  the  First  Church  was 
Rev.  Charles  H.  Ricketts,  who  became  pastor  in  1884,  remained 
until  the  church  was  merged  into  Union  Church  in  1888,  and 
served  the  new  organization  until  May,  1889.  It  is  worthy  of 
note  that  on  October  30,  1887,  Mr.  Ricketts  preached  the  sermon 
on  the  occasion  of  the  50th  anniversary  of  the  First  Church  and 
twenty-five  years  later  preached  the  sermon  at  the  celebration  of 
the  75th  anniversary  of  the  same  church.     That  is  unique. 


In  1826,  Mr.  George  Kellogg  and  Mr.  Ralph  Talcott  of  the 
Rock  Company  saw  the  necessity  of  a  church  in  Rockville.  The 
proposition  was  treated  by  many  with  indignation,  and  Mr.  Kel- 
logg was  abused  for  his  benevolence  toward  the  people  in  this 
part  of  the  town,  and  was  accused  of  malice  toward  the  church  in 
Vernon,  to  which  he  belonged. 

But,  notwithstanding  all  this,  the  building  since  known  as  the 
Snipsic  Block  was  built  in  1836  and  was  called  the  lecture  room. 
Preaching  began  as  soon  as  it  was  completed,  and  continued  every 
Sunday  until  the  First  Church  was  dedicated  June  29,  1839.  The 
upper  floor  was  used  exclusively  for  Sunday  services,  the  pulpit 


being  at  the  north  and  the  choir  on  a  raised  platform  at  the  other 
end.  In  the  rear  room  of  the  rirst  floor  was  established  in  1836-7 
the  first  district  school  of  Rockville.  The  front  room  was  used  as  a 
shoe  shop,  but  for  years  was  unoccupied.  In  1843,  during  a  shower, 
lightning  came  down  the  chimney  and  followed  the  stove  pipe 
down  through  the  floor  under  the  stove,  into  the  schoolroom  beiow, 
tearing  up  the  floor,  shivering  the  timbers  in  the  cellar  and  doing 
slight  damage  in  many  places,  mostly  on  the  first  floor.  About  60 
persons  were  in  the  upper  room  holding  a  singing  school,  which 
broke  up  in  confusion,  but  no  one  was  injured. 

It  continued  to  be  the  lecture  room,  in  which  occasional  re- 
ligious services  were  held  until  1848,  when  the  Second  Church 
was  built,  and  was  also  used  for  a  high  school  during  week  days 
till  the  brick  school  house  was  built  in  the  same  year  as  the  Second 

The  room  was  next  occupied  by  Webb  &  Wells,  job  printers 
and  publishers  of  the  Tolland  County  Gazette,  the  first  newspaper 
ever  published  in  Rockville.  The  paper  had  a  life  of  a  few  years 
only,  and  when  U.  S.  Treasurer  Gilfillan  started  the  Republican  in 
Doane's  Block,  the  room  was  made  over  into  a  tailor's  shop. 

Downstairs,  Drs.  Friselle  and  Dewing  had  an  office  and  drug 
store  which  was  afterwards  sold  to  Dr.  Wilson.  The  west  store 
was  occupied  by  H.  W.  Coye  as  a  music  store  and  watch-repair- 
ing establishment.  Coye  was  succeeded  by  Skinner  and  Plimpton, 
who  bought  out  Wm.  H.  Cogswell's  stock  and  fixtures  and  started 
a  drug  store. 

Readers  will  be  interested  to  learn  that  this  lecture  room, 
originally  located  on  the  site  of  the  present  Henry  Building,  is  now 
the  home  of  Mr.  William  Wheelock  at  206  East  Main  Street,  on 
the  south  side  of  the  street  adjacent  to  the  Minterburn  Mill  office. 
Here  the  father,  William  Henry  Wheelock,  aged  84  years,  has 
lived  for  nearly  half  a  century. 

The  present  home,  a  part  of  the  property  of  M.  T.  Stevens 
Company  acquired  from  the  Hockanum  Company,  was  purchased 
by  Mr.  Wm.  Wheelock  in  1947.  Massive  hand-hewn  beams  in  the 
structure,  pegged  and  sturdily  joined  together,  disclose  the  age  of 
the  building. 

On  the  north  side  of  the  same  street  at  No.  181  there  stood 
for  many  years  prior  to  1934  another  historic  structure.  It  was  a 
square  brick  building,  two  stories,  which  originally  was  a  tavern 
patronized   and   popularized   by   travelers   through   the   town   and 



considered  a  landmark  by  distinguished  persons  who  called  here 
en  route  to  the  eastern  section  of  the  county. 

The  original  brick  tavern  building  was  torn  down  in  1934  and 
the  cellar  and  foundation  filled  in.  Then  the  present  frame  build- 
ing of  approximately  the  same  size  and  on  the  identical  site  was 
erected,  and  is  now  occupied  by  George  May's  plumbing  and 
heating  establishment. 



It  was  in  the  enthusiastic  days  of  Rev.  Horace  Winslow  that 
the  Second  Congregational  Church  of  Rockville  was  formed.  The 
first  church  was  growing  rapidly,  and  expansion  was  the  constant 
cry.  The  community  was  growing,  too.  The  village  had  become 
a  town  of  2000  people.  Moreover,  for  half  a  century  it  was  fash- 
ionable to  build  more  churches.  If  a  group  of  people  did  not  like 
the  minister  or  the  minister  did  not  like  the  members  or  the  mem- 
bers did  not  like  one  another,  another  church  was  built. 

To  meet  the  growing  demands  of  the  Congregational  Parish  a 
Second  Church  was  organized  on  February  22,  1849,  with  48  mem- 
bers— 29  from  the  First  Church  and  19  from  elsewhere.  The  house 
of  worship,  which  stood  on  the  site  of  the  present  Union  Church, 
was  a  New  England  Meeting  House  of  the  noblest  style  of  archi- 
tecture, with  Ionic  portico,  and  a  steeple  145  feet  high.  It  was 
built  in  1848  and  dedicated  in  1849.  Six  ministers,  a  noble  band 
of  men  whose  hearts  God  had  touched,  served  the  church  during 
the  forty  years  of  its  existence. 

Rev.  Andrew  Sharpe  was  installed  on  September  26,  1849,  and 
was  dismissed  on  December  2,  1851.  In  those  two  years  fifty  per- 
sons united  with  the  church,  among  them  E.  C.  Bissell,  a  weaver 
in  the  Rock  Mill,  who  later  became  a  professor  in  Hartford  The- 
ological Seminary.  During  this  period,  the  labors  of  evangelist 
John  D.  Potter  had  a  mighty  influence  upon  the  people. 

Rev.  Charles  Henry  Bullard's  ministry,  1852-1857,  was  pro- 
foundly strengthened  by  the  evangelistic  fervor  which  then  pre- 
vailed, and  he  received  into  the  church  one  hundred  and  four 
persons  on  confession  of  faith.  He  left  Rockville  to  become  the 
agent  of  the  American  Tract  Society  of  Connecticut. 

Rev.  Charles  Wells  Clapp,  1857-1864,  was  highly  esteemed  by 
the  community.  He  was  a  man  of  culture — as  much  at  home  with 
an  erudite  professor  as  with  an  unlettered  teamster.  At  the  close 
of  his  ministry  here,  he  became  a  professor  in  a  western  college. 

Rev.  Asa  S.  Fiske,  1865-1871,  had  remarkable  success.  He  ac- 
tually received  into  the  church  231  members.  He  possessed  a 
great  tact  in  the  management  of  the  parish  affairs.  His  persistent 
efforts  brought  an  increasing  number  to  the  Sabbath  evening  serv- 
ices.    He  was   a  good  preacher,  democratic,  and  full  of  humor. 



Like  Winslow,  of  the  First  Church,  he  was  very  fond  of  horses — 
the  faster  they  ran  the  better  he  liked  them.  However,  some  mem- 
bers of  the  congregation  did  not  approve  of  this  particular  activity. 
And  the  fact  that  the  minister's  wife  rode  horseback  did  not  im- 
prove the  situation.  Still,  he  was  admired  by  the  parish  for  his 
untiring  zeal  in  the  work  of  the  church. 

Rev.  Henry  F.  Hyde  started  his  pastorate  July  5,  1872,  and 
after  eight  years  of  faithful  service  died  here.  His  monument 
stands  in  Grove  Hill  cemetery.  He  won  the  hearts  of  the  young 
people.  Advanced  in  his  ideas  of  an  institutional  church,  he  con- 
structed a  stage  with  footlights  for  the  presentation  of  plays  by 
the  young  people  in  the  basement  of  the  church.  His  printed  book 
of  sermons  bears  witness  to  his  superior  intelligence.  His  minis- 
terial brethren  loved  him.  In  his  sickness  one  of  them  stood  at  his 
bedside  almost  daily,  and  others  in  the  county  supplied  his  pulpit 
that  his  salary  might  be  continued  for  the  support  of  his  family.  In 
a  sermon  preached  at  the  Methodist  Church  on  June  20,  1880,  Dr. 
Hutchins,  of  Columbus,  Ohio,  one  of  Mr.  Hyde's  former  comrades, 
said  of  him:  "He  was  the  most  brilliant  scholar  the  Academy  ever 
produced  and  probably  the  most  brilliant  one  the  town  of  East 
Killingly  ever  had." 

Rev.  Samuel  B.  Forbes,  1881-1888,  was  the  last  minister  of  the 
Second  Church.  He  was  an  elderly  man  and  very  kindly  disposed; 
tall  and  dignified,  and  blessed  with  a  rich  mellow  voice.  He  was 
deeply  interested  in  the  subject  of  temperance — an  interest  that 
led  him  to  seek,  unsuccessfully,  the  Governorship  of  the  State.  He 
was  nominated  at  the  Prohibitory  Convention  in  Hartford  July  28, 
1886.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  his  strong  interest  in  temperance  and 
his  wife's  appointment  as  State  President  of  the  W.C.T.U.  did  not 
permit  the  subject  to  be  forgotten  entirely  on  Sundays  at  the  Sec- 
ond Congregational  Church.    He  lived  to  be  over  90  years  of  age. 

The  First  Congregational  Church  was  moved  to  the  south  side 
of  the  canal,  and  turned  around  to  face  Central  Park.  Finally,  the 
building  was  sold  under  the  hammer.  The  eloquent  auctioneer, 
S.  J.  Ryan,  had  difficulty  in  disposing  of  it.  Nobody  desired  to 
invest  in  a  church.  Crossley  Fitton  bought  it  for  $100,  and  later 
sold  it  for  $125  to  George  Arnold  who  promptly  tore  it  down.  He 
sold  the  pews  for  $1.00  each. 





In  the  year  1888,  events  of  far-reaching  significance  stirred  the 
entire  community.  Big  headlines  in  the  Rockville  Journal  on  Fri- 
day, March  16,  announced  "The  Great  Storm  of  1888 — Tremen- 
dous Fall  of  Snow — Drifts  Twelve  to  Fifteen  Feet  High."  The 
greatest  snowstorm  in  the  memory  of  the  oldest  man  living  com- 
menced Sunday  evening,  March  11,  and  raged  with  unabated  fury 
throughout  Monday  and  Tuesday.  Traffic  was  blocked,  the  wheels 
of  industry  were  stopped,  communication  with  the  outside  world 
was  cut  off.  Fortunately,  there  was  no  loss  of  life,  thoueh  there 
was  a  milk  famine.  Sixty-seven  years  of  storm  and  sunshine  have 
passed  since  that  occurrence,  but  we  still  frequently  hear  of  the 
blizzard  of  1888. 

Three  weeks  after  that  startling  phenomenon,  on  Monday 
night,  April  2,  inhabitants  of  the  village  were  suddenly  roused  from 
their  slumber  when  watchman  Griswold  of  the  Rock  Mill  struck 
the  mill  bell  and  the  cry  of  "Fire"  rang  out  in  the  midnight  still- 
ness. It  was  exactly  12:25,  and  the  Second  Congregational  Church, 
in  the  heart  of  the  village,  was  in  flames.  The  steeple  fell  just 
before  1  a.m.,  toppling  over  into  Union  Street,  turning  somersault 
and  falling  with  the  vane  on  the  sidewalk  next  to  the  church.  At 
2:10,  the  fire  chief  telegraphed  Hartford  for  assistance,  but  help 
did  not  arrive  in  Rockville  until  4:30.  The  church,  the  hardware 
store  beneath,  and  the  skating  rink  of  the  Fitch  Block  adjoining 
the  church  were  then  in  ruins. 

It  appears  that  thoughts  of  consolidating  the  First  and  Second 
Congregational  Churches  had  been  cherished  for  some  time  by  the 
First  Church,  but  members  of  the  Second  Church  were  not  en- 
thusiastic over  the  proposal,  and  voted  against  such  a  union.  On 
March  30,  1888,  the  First  Church  sold  their  lot  for  a  handsome 
price  to  the  Town  of  Vernon  to  be  used  as  a  site  for  the  Memorial 
Hall  building.  Five  days  later,  the  Second  Church  was  destroyed 
by  fire. 

These  bewildering  circumstances  opened  the  way  to  a  wiser 
understanding  on  the  part  of  both  church  groups.  Some  of  the 
saints  asked,  "Is  not  the  finger  of  God  in  this  calamity?"  Others 
saw  in  the  event  retribution,  and  brought  the  fate  of  Sodom  and 
Gomorrah  uncomfortably  near.  Still  others  there  were  who  sought 
to  dissipate  the  gloom  by  the  cheerio  technique,  claiming  that  it 



was  clearlv  out  of  order  to  weep  copiously  over  such  a  little  matter 
— a  kind  Providence  would  take  care  of  that. 

'With  a  s;ood  decree  of  unanimity,  therefore,  the  two  societies 
reached  these  conclusions: 

"Whereas  on  the  morning  of  April  3,  1888,  the  Second 
Congregational  Church  edifice  was  totally  destroyed  by 
fire,  and 

"Whereas  the  land  upon  which  stands  the  First  Con- 
gregational Church  edifice  and  chapel  has  been  sold  and 
conveyed  to  the  Town  of  Vernon  as  a  site  for  the  proposed 
Memorial  Hall,  thus  rendering  both  ecclesiastical  societies 
practicallv  without  houses  of  worship,  and 

"Whereas  the  two  Congregational  churches  believe 
that  the  time  has  come  when  these  two  churches  should 
be  united  into  one  church  organization 


"Resolved  that  we  do  hereby  unite  to  form  a  religious 
society  to  be  known  as  the  Union  Ecclesiastical  Society 
of  Rockville,  Connecticut."' 

In  attempting  to  chart  the  way  we  have  come,  we  ought  to 
state  that  just  as  the  year  of  1888  will  be  remembered  as  the  year 
of  destruction  so  the  year  of  1889  will  be  recognized  as  the  year  of 
reconstruction  and  progress.  In  that  year  the  village  became  a 
citv.  At  a  special  town  meeting  called  to  decide  the  issue,  1090 
ballots  were  cast — 963  yes  and  127  no — and  the  citv  form  of  govern- 
ment was  adopted. 

Earlv  in  1889,  the  First  Congregational  Church  building  was 
moved  over  the  canal  to  the  south  side  of  Main  Street,  where  the 
united  churches  held  their  services.  In  that  fellowship  of  411  were 
189  members  from  the  First  Church  and  222  members  from  the 
Second  Church.  Rev.  Charles  H.  Ricketts  shepherded  the  flock 
until  May,  1889.  On  September  26,  1889,  sixty-three  years  ago, 
Rev.  James  Dingwell  accepted  the  call  and  became  the  first  min- 
ister of  Union  Congregational  Church  of  Rockville,  Connecticut. 

Several  months  before  the  arrival  of  the  minister,  the  congre- 
gation had  decided  to  build  a  new  and  commodious  church  for  an 
amount  not  to  exceed  $40,000.  A  building  committee  was  ap- 
pointed consisting  of  Messrs.  John  G.  Bailey,  George  Sykes,  Cross- 
ley  Fitton,  George  M.  Paulk,  and  Dr.  E.  K.  Leonard.     Plans  and 


specifications  submitted  by  Warren  H.  Hayes,  Minneapolis,  were 
accepted.  The  original  plan  to  build  a  brick  church  with  brown 
stone  trimmings  was  changed,  and  at  an  extra  cost  of  $6,000  the 
church  was  built  of  two  shades  of  Monson  granite.  The  total  cost 
of  this  beautiful  sanctuary,  which  is  increasingly  admired,  was 

We  were  interested  on  reading  the  building  committee's  re- 
port to  find  this: 

The  building  committee  is  pleased  that  no  accident 
has  occurred  except  the  sad  one  by  which  two  worthy 
men  lost  their  lives.  We  exonerate  all  from  any  blame  in 
the  matter,  as  all  staging  was  constructed  in  the  most  sub- 
stantial manner. 

The  corner  stone  of  Union  Church  was  laid  on  June  8,  1839, 
with  appropriate  exercises.  Rev.  Samuel  B.  Forbes,  the  retiring 
minister  of  the  Second  Church,  gave  the  address. 

Now  here  is  a  glimpse  at  Union  Church  in  the  first  year  of 
its  activities.  The  average  church  attendance  for  the  vear  1889 
was  410.  People  went  to  church  regularly  in  those  davs.  The 
Sunday  School,  with  Mr.  S.  Tracy  Noble  as  first  superintendent, 
and  four  assistants,  Frederick  Gilnack,  Luther  H.  Fuller,  Abigail 
Martin  and  Hattie  E.  Durfee,  had  an  average  attendance  which 
equalled  the  days  of  the  year,  365;  the  average  attendance  at 
Christian  Endeavor  meetings  held  at  five  o'clock  on  Sundav  eve- 
nings was  sixty.  The  Thursday  evening  prayer  meeting  was  an 
inspiring  institution.  All  business  of  the  church  was  transacted  at 
the  close  of  these  exercises.  The  report  for  the  vear  shows  that  the 
largest  attendance  at  the  prayer  meetings  was  120,  the  smallest 
21  ( stormy  night ) ,  with  an  average  attendance  of  sixty.  After 
giving  these  figures  the  clerk  adds  this  spicy  comment — "This 
seems  a  small  number  for  our  membership."  Mark  that — an  av- 
erage attendance  of  sixty  at  the  weekly  prayer  meeting  a  small 
number  for  their  membership!  In  these  davs  when  we  have  drifted 
from  firm  anchorage  how  strange  that  report  sounds! 

On  Sunday  evening,  September  14,  1890,  a  farewell  service 
was  held  in  the  old  Church.  Deacon  George  Maxwell  read  a 
paper,  punctuated  with  the  warm  accents  of  a  glowing  sincerity. 
At  the  close  of  a  fine  tribute  to  the  work  accomplished  bv  people 
and  pastors  during  the  forty  years  past,  he  said: 


"We  may  thank  God  that  He  has  given  us  so  goodly 
an  array  of  ministers.  On  the  night  of  April  2,  1888,  we 
bade  farewell  to  the  Second  Church  as  it  went  from  us  in 
flames  of  fire.  Here  tonight  in  a  more  peaceful  way,  we 
part  with  this  older  church.  As  we  go  hence  to  a  more 
beautiful  house  of  worship,  let  us  ask  God's  presence  to 
abide  within  that  new  temple." 

The  dedication  of  this  noble  edifice  took  place  on  Thursday, 
September  18,  1890.  On  the  previous  evening,  the  talented  friend, 
Mr.  William  C.  Hammond,  gave  an  organ  recital  before  a  large 
audience.  The  dedication  sermon  was  preached  by  Rev.  E.  A. 
Reed,  of  Holyoke,  Massachusetts,  from  Psalm  cxxii,  1,  "I  was  glad 
when  they  said  unto  me,  'Let  us  go  into  the  house  of  the  Lord.' " 
The  church  clerk  made  this  comment  on  the  sermon  and  the 
preacher:  "Just  one  half -hour  was  occupied  in  its  delivery,  and 
we  made  no  mistake  in  inviting  him  as  the  preacher."  And  I  like 
this  illuminating  word  about  the  reading  of  the  scripture:  "The 
scriptural  reading  was  impressively  rendered  by  Rev.  James  Ding- 
well."  It  is  estimated  that  1400  people  attended  the  exercises, 
about  one  hundred  chairs  being  added  to  the  seating  capacity, 
besides  which  many  stood. 

In  reply  to  a  question  asked  by  the  minister  during  the  dedi- 
cation services  concerning  the  financial  obligations  incurred  by 
the  building  of  the  new  church,  Dr.  Dickinson,  representing  the 
building  committee,  stated  that  there  would  be  no  encumbrance 
upon  the  church.  A  church  that  cost  $72,000  had  no  debt!  The 
spirit  of  benevolence  which  has  enriched  Union  Church  through 
the  years,  and  is  still  manifesting  itself,  poured  forth  its  treasures 
sixty-three  years  ago,  with  no  desire  for  publicity  or  praise,  but 
simply  a  deep  love  for  the  church  and  humanity.  Rev.  James 
Dingwell  resigned  the  pastorate  August  29,  1895,  after  six  years 
of  active  service.    He  was  an  able  leader  and  an  excellent  preacher. 

Rev.  Charles  E.  McKinley  was  installed  pastor  of  Union  Church 
on  Wednesday,  September  16,  1896.  By  his  sweetness  and  strength, 
his  profound  piety  and  wide  charity,  he  carried  forward  the  large 
work  of  the  church  with  marked  success.  The  membership  when 
he  began  was  496;  when  he  closed  his  ministry  in  1911  it  was  588. 

During  his  ministry  the  Maxwell  Free  Reading  Rooms  were 
opened.  The  fund  was  given  by  George  Maxwell  and  members 
of  the  Maxwell  family.     In  1898,  the  Men's  Union  was  organized 


to  take  charge  of  the  Sunday  evening  meetings  and  to  develop  the 
social  life  of  the  church.  The  Sunday  School  was  one  of  the  largest 
in  the  State,  and  the  Christian  Endeavor  Society,  aided  by  an  or- 
chestra, attracted  an  average  attendance  of  two  hundred  persons, 
young  and  old. 

In  1904,  at  a  largely  attended  prayer  meeting,  the  matter  of 
securing  an  individual  communion  service  was  introduced.  Pastor 
McKinley  discussed  reasons  for  and  against  the  change.  Seven 
ballots  were  cast.  Mrs.  Harriet  K.  Maxwell  gave  the  set  on  the 
occasion  of  her  eightieth  birthday,  a  set  of  eight  silver  offering 
plates   and  a   communion   set  with   individual  cups. 

After  standing  firmly  and  faithfully  at  the  church  helm  for 
fifteen  years,  Rev.  Charles  E.  McKinley  resigned  on  June  27,  1911, 
and  for  about  a  year  the  church  was  without  a  regular  pastor. 
Then  came  Rev.  Percy  E.  Thomas,  who  accepted  the  call  and  began 
his  work  here  on  Sunday,  September  8,  1912.  He  found  the  church 
thoroughly  organized  and  recently  renovated,  a  rebuilt  organ,  a 
host  of  workers,  and  not  a  ripple  of  dissension. 

Under  the  leadership  of  Mr.  Thomas,  Union  Church  grew  in 
number  and  influence.  He  was  a  man's  man,  perfectly  at  home 
in  any  kind  of  party  with  men.  It  was  good  to  see  him  at  the 
annual  picnic  of  the  Men's  Union,  or  at  the  bowling  alley,  or  on  the 
golf  course.  During  the  nine  years  of  his  ministry  in  Rockville,  the 
church  became  not  only  a  religious  center  but  a  big  social  family- 
There  were  many  banquets.  The  Ladies'  Aid  Society  raised  in  one 
year  the  sum  of  $576.25.  The  Bible  School  recognized  the  twenty- 
five  years  of  faithful  service  rendered  by  Mr.  Luther  Fuller  as 
superintendent  with  a  gift  of  $1,000. 

Endowed  with  great  gifts,  Mr.  Thomas  attracted  people  of  all 
creeds  to  church.  His  oratorical  powers,  his  choice  of  subjects,  and 
his  dramatic  ability  made  the  Sunday  evening  meetings  more  pop- 
ular than  ever  before.  Outside  the  church,  he  rendered  splendid 
service  in  the  community,  especially  in  the  period  of  the  World 
War.  Within  the  church  he  put  everybody  to  work,  ushers,  dea- 
cons, all  societies,  and  when  he  resigned  on  May  12,  1921,  the 
membership  had  reached  the  total  of  728.  The  entire  church  and 
the  whole  community  regretted  his  departure  when  he  accepted 
the  call  to  the  Congregational  Church  at  Lowell,  Massachusetts. 

On  Sunday,  March  19,  1922,  Rev.  Thomas  Pace  Haig  began 
his  ministry  in  Union  Church.  He  soon  revealed  his  ability  as  a 
deep  thinker,  a  theologian,  and  a  good  sermonizer.     His  pleasing 


personality  appealed  strongly  to  the  young  people.  The  church 
school  under  his  administration  made  good  progress,  and  graciously 
sent  Superintendent  Fuller  to  the  International  Sunday  School 
Convention  held  in  Scotland  in  1924. 

A  Go-to-Church  movement  was  organized,  and  a  junior  sermon 
became  a  feature  of  the  morning  service.  The  congregation  rallied 
around  the  standard  to  reduce  the  $7,500  debt  of  1922  to  $900. 
True,  his  stay  in  Union  Church  was  brief,  but  the  influence  of  his 
Christian  character,  his  love  of  truth,  and  his  strict  integrity  abides. 

Rev.  George  S.  Brookes  accepted  the  call  in  November,  1925, 
and  served  Union  Church  for  twenty  years,  the  longest  pastorate 
in  its  history.  Notable  events  included  visits  of  Dr.  Wilfred  Gren- 
fell,  of  Labrador,  and  Miss  Helen  Keller;  a  celebration  of  the 
tenth  anniversary  of  Dr.  Brookes'  pastorate,  expressed  in  the  rais- 
ing of  $10,426  to  meet  emergency  financial  needs  of  the  church; 
dedication  of  the  carillon  bells  in  1934,  the  gift  of  Miss  Ellen  O'Neal; 
the  sending  of  three  young  men  of  the  church  into  the  ministry — 
Milton  Liebe,  Raymond  Fiedler  and  Kenneth  Brookes;  the  gener- 
ous gift  by  Mrs.  Florence  P.  Maxwell  of  a  parsonage  situated  at 
the  corner  of  North  Park  and  Prospect  Streets;  and  the  building 
up  through  the  years  of  an  Endowment  Fund,  which  was  greatly 
encouraged  by  the  noble  Maxwell  family. 

On  Friday,  January  14,  1938,  Mr.  Luther  H.  Fuller,  senior  dea- 
con and  superintendent  emeritus  of  the  church  school,  quietly  de- 
parted for  the  House  of  Many  Mansions  after  an  association  of 
73  years.  Union  Church  never  had  a  more  loyal  and  devoted 

Rev.  Forrest  Musser  began  his  ministry  here  in  January,  1946. 
With  a  growing  population  and  an  intense  interest  in  church  and 
community,  Mr.  Musser  has  built  up  a  wonderful  organization.  In 
1950  the  membership  grew  beyond  the  1000  mark;  a  parish  com- 
mittee of  120  active  members,  doing  laymen's  work  in  the  church, 
is  doing  a  splendid  work;  a  Women's  Guild  of  five  circles,  in  which 
every  woman  in  the  fellowship  is  a  member,  is  rendering  a  noble 
service.  The  pastor  is  deeply  interested  in  "Alcoholics  Anonvmous." 
He  is  a  member  of  the  Connecticut  Water  Color  Society  and  Spring- 
field Art  League,  and  his  large  mural  picture  of  the  Lord's  Supper, 
used  to  illustrate  his  sermon  topic,  attracted  wide  attention. 

Two  fires  in  three  years  caused  much  damage  to  the  prop- 
erty, one  in  the  balcony  in  1948  and  the  other  in  the  kitchen  in 


1951,  but  redecorations  in  the  church  and  social  rooms  quickly  fol- 

On  account  of  a  fast  growing  membership  Union  Congre- 
gational Church  expanded  her  program  in  the  year  1947  by  calling 
Mrs.  Michael  L.  Vetrano  as  an  Associate  in  Religious  Education. 
Mrs.  Vetrano  had  a  good  background  of  experience  in  church  work 
and  YWCA  work,  receiving  her  training  at  the  Hartford  Seminary 
Foundation.  Mrs.  Vetrano  served  the  church  for  seven  years  and 
under  her  leadership  the  Church  School  and  Pilgrim  Fellowship 
greatly  increased  in  membership  and  effectiveness.  Many  improve- 
ments were  made  in  church  school  equipment  and  the  east  wing 
of  the  parsonage  was  converted  into  a  parish  house  to  care  for 
the  pre-school  age.  In  July,  1954,  Mrs.  Vetrano  accepted  a  call 
to  a  similar  position  in  the  South  Congregational  Church  of  Hart- 

Miss  Antoinette  Bierce  from  the  Bunker  Hill  Congregational 
Church  of  Waterbury,  a  graduate  of  Schauffler  College,  took  up 
her  work  as  Director  of  Religious  Education  at  Union  Congrega- 
tional Church  on  October  15,  1954. 





Sunday  Afternoon,  October  21,  1934 

Four  o'Clock 


PROCESSIONAL  HYMN   "Onward  Christian  Soldiers" 



ADDRESS Rev.  Charles  E.  McKinley,  D.D. 


HYMN  "Holy,  Holy,  Holy,  Lord  God  Almighty" 


POSTLUDE Carillon  Bells,  played  by 

Mr.  Melvin  C.  Corbett  of 
Darien,  Connecticut 


These  Carillon  Bells 
were  the  gift  of  the  late 

to  Union  Church 

in  memory  of  her  sister 


and  husband 


Devoted  Friends  of  the  Church 

Installed  October,  1934 





The  history  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  in  Rockville 
divides  itself  naturally  into  four  periods:  1 — the  period  of  prayer 
meetings  at  the  homes  of  brethren;  2 — the  building  of  a  small 
church  on  West  Street;  3 — the  period  of  worship  on  West  Main 
Street;  4 — the  erection  of  the  present  brick  Church. 

Before  Rockville  had  even  selected  a  name  for  itself,  and  thirty 
years  before  any  local  newspaper  had  appeared,  and  the  Hartford 
Courant  had  not  yet  become  a  daily  paper,  a  few  Methodists  on 
fire  with  the  Kingdom  came  together  in  1833  for  seasons  of  prayer 
and  fellowship  at  the  home  of  Ishmael  Jackson,  whose  home  stood 
back  of  West  Street,  below  the  Hockanum  Mill,  and  opposite  the 
old  blacksmith's  shop,  where  boys  watched  oxen  and  horses  shod 
in  a  very  primitive  fashion. 

Rev.  Ezra  Withey,  a  veteran  minister  who  lived  at  New  Lon- 
don, tells  of  preaching  in  Rockville  factories  in  the  year  1833,  and 
in  the  Fall  of  1834  the  first  class  was  formed;  the  members  of  the 
class — Ishmael  Jackson  and  his  wife  Sarah  and  Thaddeus  Bruce 
and  Sylvia  his  wife.  Four  persons  joined  hands  and  hearts  to  estab- 
lish that  system  of  religion  which  they  preferred.  In  that  first 
class  meeting  some  were  present  who  were  not  Methodists,  and 
there  is  a  tradition  that  two  or  three  gave  themselves  to  God  that 
very  evening.     This  was  the  first  ecclesiastical  society  in  Rockville. 

Among  the  reminiscences  of  Rev.  Ezra  Withey  is  this  interest- 
ing note: 

"I  preached  in  Rockville  factories  on  the  text,  'What 
must  I  do  to  be  saved?'  Acts  16:30.  I  had  hard  work  to 
get  hay  for  my  horse,  and  started  for  Brother  Phineas 
Grover's  Square  Pond,  early  in  the  morning.  There  I  had 
a  plenty  for  my  horse  and  food  for  myself,  and  rested  all 
day  and  over  night.  The  Methodist  preachers  in  those 
days  were  none  too  well  cared  for.  Mr.  Pierce  says  that 
his  colleague,  Mr.  Cushing,  who  preached  in  the  Tolland 
part  of  the  circuit,  had  to  resort  to  teaching  school  to  keep 
his  wife  and  himself  from  going  hungry." 

The  itinerant  wheels  take  strange  turns.  Preachers  appointed 
in  1834  to  the  Tolland  and  Stafford  Circuit,  which  included  El- 
lington  and   Vernon,   were   Stephen   Cushing,    Ezra   Withey,    and 



Lozien  Pierce.  Harry  Torbush,  a  local  preacher  and  a  dentist, 
was  sent  to  East  Windsor  Circuit  in  1830,  with  Windsor  Ward, 
Edmund  A.  Standish  and  Elam  Chaplin  as  colleagues.  Rockville 
was  included  in  the  territory  visited  by  these  itinerants.  Torbush 
writes  of  a  revival  at  Dobson's  Mills  in  the  winter  of  1836,  and  pays 
great  tribute  to  "Father"  Thaddeus  C.  Bruce,  the  keeper  of  the 
turnpike  toll-gate,  who  was  always  seen  in  the  thickest  of  the  bat- 
tle as  one  of  his  helpers.  Torbush  adds  this  tiny  note — "We  hold 
our  meetings  in  Rockville  at  5  p.m.  in  the  summer  and  6  o'clock 
in  the  winter,  followed  by  class  meetings  after  preaching." 

In  1838,  Elam  Chaplin,  a  local  preacher  and  a  spoon  maker 
working  in  Hartford  and  living  in  East  Hartford,  was  employed  to 
come  out  to  Rockville  and  preach  in  the  schoolhouse  on  Sundays. 
He  continued  thus  to  supply  for  two  years.  And  for  his  labors 
they  paid  him  the  microscopic  salary  of  $8.00  per  month.  In  1840 
for  the  first  time  Vernon  appears  on  the  list  of  official  appoint- 
ments with  Benjamin  M.  Walker  and  Caleb  D.  Rogers  as  preach- 
ers. They  alternated  in  their  labors.  In  the  year  1842  a  young 
student,  Lansom  B.  Clark,  supplied  the  church,  and  during  the 
one  year  of  his  ministry  a  big  tent  was  put  up  on  the  lot  where 
later  the  Opera  House  was  erected  on  Brooklyn  Street.  However, 
for  several  years  meetings  were  held  at  the  home  of  the  Grants 
and  in  the  Grant  schoolhouse.  The  record  of  Rev.  R.  W.  Allen 
states:  "In  1843  I  was  appointed  to  the  New  London  District  as 
presiding  elder  and  found  a  small  company  of  devout  Methodists 
in  Rockville  worshipping  in  a  little  old  dingy  schoolhouse."  Broth- 
er A.  F.  Park,  later  a  lawyer  in  Norwich,  supplied  the  society  in 
1844-45.  These  prayer  and  fellowship  meetings,  conducted  by  the 
brethren  in  turn,  were  characterized  by  great  religious  earnestness 
and  devotion. 

Then  came  the  second  epoch  in  the  history  of  Methodism  in 
Rockville.  In  spite  of  all  the  discouragements,  they  erected  a 
church  building  on  West  Street  on  or  near  the  present  Polish  pa- 
rochial school,  with  appropriate  exercises  in  May,  1847.  It  was  a 
small  wooden  frame  building.  The  land  had  been  given  to  the 
Methodist  Society  by  a  Congregational  brother.  Rev.  William  W. 
Hurd  was  pastor  at  the  time  of  the  dedication.  The  one-story 
schoolhouse  had  become  dilapidated,  was  used  as  a  soap  factory 
and  later  as  a  common  barn. 

Rev.  William  Hurd  was  a  very  enthusiastic  pastor.  He  had 
notions  of  his  own.     He  introduced  the  violin  and  bass  viol  into 


the  service  of  music,  and  though  some  members  thought  such  in- 
struments were  out  of  place  in  the  church,  the  choir  persisted  in 
their  use.  By  a  kind  providence  a  Rev.  Anthony  Palmer  was  next 
sent  by  the  Conference  in  1850.  He  was  gifted  with  a  wonderful 
voice,  and  his  geniality  won  the  hearts  of  all  the  people.  There 
was  no  further  trouble  with  the  music.  Rev.  L.  W.  Blood,  1851, 
and  Rev.  W.  S.  Simmons,  1853,  had  short  pastorates. 

In  the  year  1854-5  George  W.  Brewster  served  as  pastor,  and 
his  own  words  tell  a  remarkable  story  of  courage  and  determina- 
tion in  a  period  of  trouble. 

"Late  in  the  autumn  or  early  in  the  winter  of  1854, 
the  little  church  was  burned  on  a  Sunday  morning.  While 
it  was  burning  I  secured  a  small  hall  (located  where  the 
Rockville  Journal  later  stood)  and  gave  notice  of  preach- 
ing in  the  evening.  So  we  lost  but  one  preaching  service 
by  the  fire." 

Thus   ended   the   second   epoch. 

The  third  epoch  began  with  the  purchase  of  the  church  on 
West  Main  Street,  which  had  been  used  by  the  Baptist  Society 
and  was  built  by  them.  It  is  now  the  First  Evangelical  Lutheran 
Church.  The  following  ministers  served  in  this  period:  Rev.  W.  D. 
Cady,  Rev.  G.  W.  Wooding,  Rev.  G.  Morse,  Rev.  G.  S.  Sanford, 
Rev.  Robert  Parsons,  John  Lovejoy,  and  Rev.  E.  Benton.  The 
Methodists  were  restless  and  dissatisfied.  They  had  a  vision  of  a 
larger  church.  They  worshipped  there  ten  years  until  it  was  voted 
February  26,  1866,  to  build  a  church  on  the  ground  owned  by  the 
Leeds  Company  and  later  purchased  by  Messrs.  White  and  Corbin. 

The  fourth  epoch  in  the  history  of  local  Methodism  begins  with 
the  vote  in  1866  to  build  the  present  church.  The  dedication  of 
this  church,  the  most  important  event  in  the  history  of  the  fellow- 
ship, was  on  Tuesday,  November  26,  1867,  two  days  after  the 
dedication  of  St.  Bernard's  Church  on  the  Terrace.  Rev.  J.  W. 
Willett  was  minister  at  the  time  of  the  dedication. 

The  records  of  the  church  show  the  sentiment  of  the  people 
in  leaving  the  old  church  for  the  new: 

"Last  Sunday  evening,  November  24,  1867,  was  an 
occasion  of  more  than  ordinary  interest  to  the  Methodist 
Church  of  this  village.  At  that  time,  they  held  their  last 
service  in  the  old  church.     Heartfelt  thanks  were  present- 


ed  to  Almighty  God  for  blessings  bestowed  at  that  altar, 
and  fervent  prayer  ascended  for  greater  display  in  the  new 
church.  Several  of  the  older  members  spoke  of  the  past 
with  mingled  feelings.  They  had  been  called  to  part  with 
many  who  were  with  them  when  they  held  their  first 
service  there.  They  were  comforted,  however,  in  knowing 
that  they  have  died  well  or  are  serving  God  elsewhere. 

"Father  Bodge  said  he  had  been  absent  from  the 
Sabbath  service  but  twice  in  the  twelve  years  they  had 
worshipped  there.  Many  of  the  younger  people  spoke  of 
it  as  their  spiritual  birthplace,  pointing  to  the  very  seat. 

"The  exercises  were  continued  about  three  hours. 
Near  the  close,  three  young  persons  came  to  the  altar  as 
penitents.  Sad,  yet  rejoicing,  the  people  bid  farewell  to 
their  old  home. 

"Next  Sunday  they  will  meet  in  the  vestry  of  their 
new  church.  The  first  service  is  to  be  a  public  lovefeast 
commencing  at  9  a.m.  All  wishing  to  attend  should  come 
early  as  the  door  will  be  closed  at  9:15,  to  be  opened 
again  at  10:15.  The  regular  services  will  commence  at  the 
usual  hours." 

The  first  service  in  the  Methodist  dedication  was  a  Public 
Love  Feast,  commencing  at  9  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Many  at- 
tended the  feast,  and  all  admired  the  gracious,  winding  stairway, 
the  elegance  of  the  architecture  of  the  galleries,  and  the  spacious- 
ness of  the  edifice.  The  last  meeting  in  the  old  Methodist  Church 
on  lower  Main  Street  was  held  on  June  9th,  and  the  dedication  of 
the  new  church  was  followed  by  the  purchase  of  the  old  by  the 
German  Lutheran  Society  for  the  sum  of  $6,250.  An  hour  before 
the  services  of  dedication  began  more  than  1000  persons  were 
present.  The  dedication  sermon  was  preached  by  Bishop  Simp- 
son. The  trustees  of  the  Society,  through  their  chairman,  Mr. 
L.  A.  Corbin,  presented  the  edifice  to  the  Bishop,  with  due  custom 
and  ritual.     The  cost  of  the  church  and  lot  was  $50,000. 

The  church  on  West  Main  Street  was  sold  for  $6,250.  Sub- 
scriptions were  received  for  $4,464,  White  and  Corbin  gave  $6,650 
making  total  receipts  of  $17,364,  and  leaving  a  debt  of  $32,636. 
This  increased  by  interest  until  it  amounted  to  $42,201.  The  bur- 
den was  almost  intolerable,  and  faithful  workers  were  often  dis- 
couraged.    But  success  came  to  the  group  twenty  years  later. 


Next  to  the  dedication  of  the  Church  in  November,  1867,  the 
services  celebrating  the  event  of  the  emancipation  from  debt  are 
the  most  memorable.  A  consecration  meeting  on  Saturday  evening, 
October  15,  1887,  was  followed  on  Sunday  morning  at  9  o'clock  by 
a  love-feast  led  by  Rev.  Edward  Edson.  The  vestry  was  crowded. 
It  was  a  real  old-fashioned  love  feast.  The  presiding  Elder  for  the 
Norwich  District  led  the  service.  There  was  special  music  by  an 
augmented  choir.  Prayer  was  offered  by  Rev.  Mr.  Bentley,  of 
Norwich  who  deplored  all  fashionable  religion  and  prayed  that  the 
old  fire  of  Methodism  pervade  all  hearts.  The  sermon  was  preached 
by  the  presiding  Elder  from  John  14:16 — "And  I  will  pray  the 
Father,  and  He  will  send  the  Comforter." 

The  real  jubilee  service  was  reserved  for  the  evening.  The 
seating  capacity  was  severely  taxed.  The  historical  address  was 
delivered  by  the  Rev.  J.  H.  James,  pastor  of  the  church.  At  the 
close  of  the  address,  he  exhibited  the  quit-claim  deed  of  the  prop- 
erty now  held  free  from  debt  by  the  church;  the  receipt  for  the 
$16,000  of  interest  which  had  been  regularly  met  by  Messrs.  White 
and  Corbin,  and  which  had  been  most  generously  given  to  the 
church  by  these  gentlemen;  and  lastly  the  mortgage  note  which 
represented  the  now  extinguished  debt  that  had  hampered  the 
church  for  many  years.  The  mortgage  note  was  placed  upon  a 
salver  and  ignited  and  burned  to  ashes  during  the  singing  of  the 
doxology.  The  pastor  very  feelingly  pronounced  the  benediction. 
What  a  time  of  rejoicing  that  was  for  all! — A  never-to-be  forgotten 

The  kind  soul  of  Corbin  began  life  with  a  good  name  through 
baptism.  He  received  the  name  of  Lewis  Angel  Corbin  in  the 
name  of  the  Father  and  of  the  Son  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  he 
had  a  good  name  through  generosity.  Cyrus  White  was  his  part- 
ner in  benevolences  as  well  as  in  business.  Mr.  Corbin  came  here 
in  1844.  He  was  a  stone  mason  by  trade  and  in  religion  a  strong 
Methodist.  In  1854  he  saw  a  bright  future  in  the  envelope  manu- 
facturing business  and  became  wealthy.  He  was  ever  happy  that 
he  lived  to  see  the  consummation  of  the  payment  of  the  debt  on 
the  church.     With  much   deep  feeling  he  said: 

"The  Methodists  have  had  a  hard  struggle.  When  I 
came  here  fifty-two  years  ago  there  was  no  regular  Meth- 
odist preaching.  There  were  only  eight  or  ten  Methodists 
in  Rockville.  In  1841  and  1842  they  came  so  near  being 
obliterated  that  Rockville  was  not  mentioned  in  the  Con- 


ference  minutes.  The  first  minister  we  boarded  and  paid 
$100  a  year.  When  the  first  small  church  was  being  built 
it  came  near  being  destroyed  by  a  whirlwind  before  it  was 
completed.  Then  it  was  burned.  The  open  doors  of  the 
Congregational  Church  took  us  in.  And  now  we  are 
happy  because  the  debt  is  swept  off.  The  people  of  Rock- 
ville  have  done  nobly.  When  it  was  found  we  had  raised 
all  but  $1,000,  the  First  and  Second  churches  took  up 
handsome  collections  for  us." 

The  nineties  saw  great  progress  in  the  work  of  the  church. 
The  old  dingy  schoolhouse  was  a  thing  of  the  past,  the  inadequate 
church  on  West  Street  was  forgotten  in  the  elegant  brick  church 
edifice  in  which  they  now  prospered. 

On  a  Sunday  morning  in  February,  1890,  $1,181  was  raised  for 
a  pipe  organ.  In  that  same  year,  the  Methodist  Church  Gazette, 
a  folder  of  four  pages,  appeared  as  an  advertising  scheme;  a  new 
bell  was  placed  in  the  tower  to  boom  forth  messages  for  genera- 
tions to  come.  This  was  a  gift  of  Mrs.  Julia  Paulsen.  A  splendid 
contribution  to  the  whole  community  was  made  in  the  establish- 
ment of  Old  Folks'  Day.  Rev.  George  Hubert  Bates  was  minister 
at  the  time,  and  acting  on  the  suggestion  of  his  mother,  set  apart 
Sunday  morning,  November  8,  1891,  as  Old  Folks'  Day.  There 
was  nothing  elaborate  about  the  program — just  a  small  printed 
sheet  giving  the  order  of  service.  The  pastor  preached.  That  was 
all.  But  the  idea  became  popular  in  and  out  of  the  church,  and 
for  sixty  years  large  congregations  assembled  for  the  occasion,  ex- 
cepting the  year  1918  when  an  epidemic  of  influenza  made  it  un- 
wise to  hold  large  gatherings. 

At  a  morning  service  in  1899,  Rev.  W.  J.  Yates  told  of  a  recent 
transfer  by  L.  A.  Corbin  of  his  interest  in  the  church  property  to 
the  trustees  and  of  his  gift  of  the  vestry  building.  Also,  he  stated 
that  George  Doane  had  given  the  church  $1,500  to  pay  for  mov- 
ing the  vestry  building  and  for  the  cost  of  fitting  it  up.  The  new 
roof  cost  $1,400.  A  large  model  of  the  church  had  been  made  of 
cardboard  and  the  roof  had  been  divided  off  into  many  squares. 
These  squares  were  offered  for  sale  to  raise  this  money. 

It  was  in  1900  during  the  ministry  of  Rev.  Walter  Yates  that 
Wesleyan  Hall  was  opened.  It  was  originally  the  vestry  of  the 
First  Congregational  Church,  and  when  that  church  was  merged 
into    Union    Church,    Lewis    Angel    Corbin    bought    the    building, 



moved  it  close  to  the  church,  and  deeded  it  and  the  land  on  which 
it  stood  to  the  trustees  of  the  Methodist  Church. 

We  have  been  privileged  to  read  pastors'  reports  and  to  learn 
something  of  the  multitudinous  difficulties  through  which  the 
church  has  passed.    Many  pastors  fortunately  had  a  sense  of  humor. 

Here  are  three  instances: 

"Have  generally  spent  my  afternoons  in  calling  on  the 
members  of  the  church  and  congregation  and  have  visited 
nearly  the  whole  congregation  once.  Quite  a  number  of 
members  of  the  church  are  in  heaven,  I  trust,  and  have 
been  for  several  years.  I  have  not  yet  found  it  in  my  way 
to  call  on  them.  A  very  large  number  of  the  members 
are  in  places  unknown  to  anyone  here.  I  shall  not  be  able 
to  bestow  much  pastoral  labor  on  them,  unless  you  give 
me  a  very  liberal  allowance  for  travelling  expenses." 

One  preacher  wrote,  with  cheerfulness: 

"There  is  one  advantage  of  residing  in  Rockville  even 
now,  and  that  is — we  are  not  plagued  with  blood-thirsty 

But  another  preacher  was  not  quite  so  enthusiastic: 

"I  have  not  been  around  the  parish  much  during  the 
hot  weather  because  I  cannot  stand  it,  and  I  have  had 
quite  a  number  of  sick  people  to  visit." 

Note  the  strict  attiude  of  the  Official  Board  in  those  days 
toward  amusements:  "A  meeting  of  the  Official  Board  was  held 
at  which  two  members  were  appointed  to  interview  two  Methodist 
young  ladies  who  had  been  known  to  attend  a  dance  at  the  Rock- 
ville Hall." 

The  one  hundredth  anniversary  of  the  first  Ecclesiastical  So- 
ciety was  celebrated  in  1933. 

Ministers  serving  the  Church  from  1848  to  1951  were: 

W.   W.   Hurd 
A.  Palmer 
L.  W.  Blood 
W.   S.   Simmons 
G.  W.  Brewster 
W.  O.   Cady 
G.   W.  Wooding 


C.  Morse 
C.    S.    Sanford 
Robert  Parsons 
John  Love  joy 
E.  Benton 
J.  W.  Willett 
E.  H.  Hatfield 





J.  A.  Bucky 



W.  E.  Handy 



V.  V.  Sawyer 



L.  G.  Horton 



Frank  W.  Gray 



J.  G.  Sallis 



M.  E.  Osborne 



C.  S.  Johnson 



J.  Arthur  Edwards 



Theron  French 



A.  F.  Waring 



Fred  A.  Dyckman 



Albert  Jackson 
Carl  Saunders 


Shadrach  Leader 
Henry  H.   Martin 
G.  W.  Miller 
N.  G.  Axtell 
Richard  Povey 
Oliver  H.  Fernald 
J.  H.  James 
Orange  W.  Scott 
George  H.  Bates 
Walter  J.  Yates 
Warren  A.  Luce 
Walter  P.  Buck 
W.   S.  Maclntire 
Robert  S.  Moore 

One  of  the  late  developments  in  the  progress  of  the  church 
was  the  erection  of  a  large  white  cross  in  December,  1951,  lighted 
with  white  neon  tube  around  the  edges.  This  is  turned  on  every 
night  at  dark,  to  burn  until  about  eleven  P.M.  This  is  a  memorial 
cross,  purchased  with  gifts  from  many  members  of  the  church  in 
memory  of  their  loved  ones.  A  Memorial  plaque  in  mahogany  is 
placed  within  the  church,  listing  the  names  of  those  memorialized 
in  gold  leaf. 

The  addition  of  the  Cross  has  made  it  possible  to  designate 
the  Rockville  Methodist  Church  as  "The  Church  with  the  Lighted 





Like  most  Methodist  Churches,  the  Vernon  Church  had  its 
origin  in  a  class  meeting.  The  first  class  meeting  was  held  in  the 
year  1852  with  the  following  members:  James  Whitney,  Mary  Whit- 
ney, Dudley  Miner,  Samuel  Talcott,  Maria  S.  Dobson,  Henry  E. 
Bennett,  Caleb  Austin  and  Louisa  Austin.  This  class  was  connected 
with  Rockville  Station  until  1856,  when  it  was  transferred  to  the 
North  Manchester  charge. 

Two  years  later  students  from  Wesleyan  University  supplied 
the  class,  and  the  preaching  services  were  held  in  the  schoolhouse 
near  Dobson's  Village  on  the  Sabbath  until  1861.  In  1864  the 
class  took  the  name  of  Centerville  Station,  and  Rev.  H.  S.  Rams- 
dell  was  appointed  preacher  in  charge  with  W.  W.  Bowdish,  of 
the  University,  preaching  half  of  the  time  on  the  Sabbath. 

The  services  were  so  popular  that  the  schoolhouse  was  too 
small  to  accommodate  the  congregation,  and  steps  were  taken  to 
build  a  house  of  worship.  A  committee  consisting  of  Samuel  S. 
Talcott,  J.  S.  Dobson,  G.  H.  Miner  and  E.  P.  Clark  was  empowered 
to  purchase  the  Universalist  Church  in  Bolton,  which  had  been  a 
Methodist  Church  from  1834  to  1851.  In  June  of  the  year  1864  the 
house  was  taken  down  and  moved  by  farmers  and  others  without 
any  compensation  to  land  purchased  from  Dudley  F.  Miner  a  little 
east  of  the  schoolhouse.  Four  months  later,  October  13,  the 
church  was  dedicated  with  appropriate  exercises.  It  is  recorded 
that  the  slips  or  pews  were  purchased  immediately,  some  renting 
for  twenty-five  dollars  a  year. 

To  meet  the  need  of  a  musical  instrument  Miss  Emma  Dobson 
solicited  funds  for  the  purchase  of  an  organ. 

About  100  children  were  made  happy  at  Christmas  time  when 
they  received  presents  from  generous  church  members. 

In  1865  Pastor  Ramsdell  announced:  "During  the  past  two 
years  we  have  built  our  house  of  worship,  doubled  our  member- 
ship, and  have  a  debt  on  our  church  of  only  $850  which  we  hope 
to  raise  next  year."  And  the  very  next  year  the  pastor  stated: 
"We  have  paid  up  our  debt  on  our  meeting  house,  purchased  a  bell, 
and  have  a  good  congregation,  and  even  though  the  Congregation- 
alists  have  built  a  church  near  us,  we  expect  to  live  in  the  future." 

In  those  days  a  Methodist  preacher  did  not  remain  in  a  pas- 



torate  more  than  three  years,  so  a  long  line  of  pastors   appears 
through  the  years. 

In  1871  Rev.  Benjamin  C.  Phelps,  who  for  several  years  had 
been  chaplain  at  Wethersfield  State  Prison,  bought  a  home  in 
Vernon,  and  became  pastor  of  the  little  church,  but  unfortunately 
had  to  give  up  his  work  and  retire  from  active  service.  For  a 
number  of  years  he  occupied  his  time  as  a  mechanic  in  a  little  shop 
adjoining  his  home.  The  Honorable  Charles  Phelps  joined  the 
Church,  as  did  an  older  brother,  George  Nelson  Phelps.  The  church 
resorted  again  to  pulpit  supplies  from  the  University,  which  did 
not  prove  satisfactory,  but  gave  the  urge  for  a  resident  pastor. 

An  increase  of  salary  was  assured,  and  Smith  S.  Talcott  and 
George  H.  Miner  bought  the  house  adjoining  the  church,  now 
owned  and  occupied  by  Mr.  Ernest  Richard,  and  this  was  used 
as  a  parsonage  for  many  years.  Rev.  S.  O.  Benton  was  sent  by 
the  Conference.  His  reception  is  described  thus:  "A  congregation 
of  about  forty  made  their  way  over  muddy  roads  and  through  a 
driving  rain  and  sleet  to  hear  the  new  minister.  The  cordiality 
of  that  greeting  will  not  be  forgotten  by  the  pastor.  It  assured 
him  of  sympathizing  hearts  and  hands  ready  for  cooperation.  After 
that  first  Sabbath  he  felt  perfectly  at  home  in  Vernon  and  entered 
on  his  work  with  a  bounding  heart." 

Among  the  pastors  who  followed  was  Rev.  Dwight  A.  Jordan 
who  later  became  a  celebrated  preacher  in  New  York  City.  The 
years  brought  revival  meetings  and  then  losses.  Now  the  Sabbath 
School  gained  in  attendance,  and  now  it  failed.  In  1885  thirty 
members  of  the  church  moved  away.  In  1886  Smith  S.  Talcott, 
the  principal  supporter  of  the  church  transferred  his  business  to 
Colorado,  and  the  membership  found  it  impossible  to  support  a 

Ten  years  passed,  and  in  1895  provision  was  made  for  a  pastor 
to  occupy  the  house  now  owned  by  James  Costello,  but  then  owned 
by  some  of  the  Dobson  family.  Rev.  D.  W.  Adams  during  a.  suc- 
cessful pastorate  brought  about  improvements.  When  the  church 
was  built  there  was  one  large  room  and  a  hallway.  The  partition 
was  removed  in  1895  and  some  of  the  space  converted  into  a  social 
room.     Later,  a  small  but  convenient  kitchen  was  added. 

During  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  F.  J.  Follansbee,  1899-1903,  a 
commodious  parsonage  was  built  next  to  the  church.  Deacon 
Post,  of  Vernon  Center,  a  kind  friend,  held  a  mortgage  on  the  prop- 
erty for  a  few  years,  until  by  the  faithful  work  of  the  Ladies'  Aid 


Society  and  generous   gifts  by  the   men  the   mortgage  deed  was 
burned  amid  great  rejoicing. 

In  1918  a  student  from  Hartford  Seminary  came,  but  shortly 
received  orders  from  the  Board  of  Missions  to  go  to  the  Belgian 
Congo,  Africa.  Another  student,  Rev.  W.  E.  Nelson,  followed,  and 
in  less  than  a  year,  he  too  sailed,  under  the  Methodist  Board,  for 
Angola,  Africa.  Soon  another  student,  Rev.  Frederick  Dixon,  came, 
and  after  finishing  the  conference  year  he  married  a  Methodist 
girl  from  New  Hampshire  and  sailed  under  the  Congregational 
Board  for  Umtali,  Africa. 

In  March  of  1938  the  church  was  the  recipient  of  three  dozen 
copies  of  the  new  Methodist  Hymnal  in  memory  of  Rev.  and  Mrs. 
Benjamin  C.  Phelps,  who  lived  in  Vernon  many  years. 

Outstanding  work  was  done  by  Rev.  S.  M.  Beale,  who  died 
March  16,  1941,  at  his  home  in  Sandwich,  Massachusetts,  at  the 
age  of  101  years;  Rev.  C.  C.  Tibbetts,  Rev.  O.  W.  Newton,  Rev. 
W.  J.  Crawford,  Rev.  M.  E.  Osborne,  and  Rev.  M.  S.  Stocking, 
during  whose  pastorate  twenty-five  new  members  added  strength 
to  the  church.  Rev.  C.  H.  Ginns  rendered  splendid  service,  and 
during  the  ministry  of  Rev.  William  T.  Wallace,  his  successor,  the 
church  was  built  up,  and  the  Sunday  School  which  was  discon- 
tinued in  1928  was  reorganized  with  an  enrollment  of  67.  In  1940 
Vernon  Church  became  associated  again  with  the  Rockville  Church, 
and  Rev.  L.  Theron  French,  Rev.  Arnold  F.  Waring  and  Rev. 
Frederick  A.   Dyckman   served  well. 

Aided  by  the  generosity  of  many  friends,  hopes  began  to 
brighten,  and  in  lune  of  1947  a  grant  of  $1500  was  made  by  the 
Conference.  At  that  same  Conference  Mr.  Dyckman  was  appointed 
executive  secretary  of  Christian  Education,  and  Rev.  Albert  W. 
Jackson  appointed  to  the  charge  of  Rockville  and  Vernon.  Plans 
were  made  for  a  basement  in  the  Church,  and  contracts  were  award- 
ed, under  Mr.  Jackson's  leadership.  Another  donation  of  $750  from 
the  Conference  was  made  in  1948,  and  $800  from  the  Home  Mis- 
sionary Society  made  possible  the  splendid  work  without  a  debt. 

The  building  was  strengthened  by  four  steel  beams,  and  the 
commodious  basement  finished,  with  a  furnace  room  and  a  kitchen 
in  the  wings  on  either  side,  and  as  funds  became  available,  further 
improvements  were  made  in  the  approach  to  the  building.  Plans 
were  made  to  sell  the  parsonage,  the  returns  from  which  would 
materially  help  in  the  expenses  of  the  church  building. 

The   Woman's    Society  of  Christian   Service    (President,   Mrs. 


Grace  Smith)  and  the  efficient  treasurer  of  the  Building  Fund  have 
rendered  valuable  service.  There  has  been  a  substantial  gain  in 
membership  during  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Albert  W.  Jackson. 

During  the  past  few  years  $30,000  has  been  spent  on  repairs 
and  alterations.  Mr.  Ernest  Richard  has  had  charge  of  the  changes. 
The  parsonage  was  sold  for  $8,500.  The  fluted  columns  in  front 
of  the  church  were  obtained  from  a  Cheney  residence  in  Manches- 
ter, and  donated  by  Mr.  Joseph  Hubbard  and  Mr.  Everett  T.  Mc- 
Kinney  of  Bolton. 

Some  new  developments  have  taken  place  in  the  Methodist 
Churches  of  Vernon  since  June  1,  1954.  Recognizing  the  challenge 
of  their  growing  community,  the  Rockville  Methodist  Church  voted 
to  increase  the  salary  sufficently  to  secure  the  full  time  ministry 
of  a  pastor,  and  invited  the  Rev.  Carl  W.  Saunders,  who  had  been 
serving  in  the  dual  parish  of  Rockville  and  Dobsonville  for  the 
past  four  years,  to  return  in  that  capacity  for  a  fifth  year.  This  left 
the  Dobsonville  Methodist  Church  to  be  supplied  otherwise.  They 
also  rose  to  the  occasion,  sensing  the  challenge  of  their  growing 
community.  The  salary  was  increased  and  a  local  preacher,  Mr. 
Sherwood  Treadwell,  of  South  Methodist  Church,  Manchester, 
Connecticut,  was  appointed  to  that  parish,  for  a  part  time  ministry 
while  attending  Boston  University  School  of  Theology.  The  mem- 
bers and  friends  of  both  Methodist  parishes  are  rallying  enthusi- 
astically to  these  new  developments. 





The  history  of  the  Baptist  Church  had  its  beginning  in  the 
home  of  Thomas  King,  a  tanner  by  trade  and  a  Baptist  by  faith. 
He  had  moved  from  Suf field,  Connecticut,  to  Ellington  in  1840, 
and  desiring  to  continue  in  the  worship  of  the  church  of  his  choice, 
invited  a  small  group  of  like-minded  men  to  meet  with  him  to 
discuss  the  possibility  of  forming  a  Baptist  Ecclesiastical  Society  in 
Ellington.  The  invitation  was  accepted,  and  the  meeting  was  held 
on  the  evening  of  January  17,  1842,  at  his  home. 

On  Tuesday  morning,  February  8,  of  that  same  year,  the  group 
assembled  for  the  second  time  at  King's  home,  and  agreed  unani- 
mously to  organize  a  church.  No  time  was  lost,  for  in  the  after- 
noon of  the  same  day  services  were  held,  where  six  persons  were 
given  the  right  hand  of  fellowship  and  legally  recognized  as  a 
church.  Others  soon  united  with  them.  This  church  stood  in  the 
park  facing  south,  just  about  opposite  the  present  Ellington  church. 
It  was  taken  down  and  removed  to  Rockville  where  it  became 
White's  Opera  House.  Ellington  has  had  four  churches,  the  first 
1739-1806,  located  in  the  west  end  of  the  park  opposite  the  Hall 
Memorial  Library;  the  second  1806-1868;  the  third  1868-1914  located 
almost  directly  opposite  the  second  church;  and  the  fourth  1916 — 
on  the  same  site  as  the  third  church. 

The  small  congregation  met  for  a  few  months  in  the  Center 
Schoolhouse  for  worship  and  then  secured  the  Conference  House 
of  the  Honorable  John  H.  Brockway.  On  October  24,  a  committee 
was  chosen  to  draft  a  Constitution  for  a  meeting  house  to  be  built 
within  a  half  mile  of  Ellington  Green.  There  is  no  record  to  show 
that  such  a  building  was  ever  erected,  though  Rev.  George  Mixter, 
the  first  minister,  built  a  small  house  in  the  vicinity. 

The  years  1843-44  brought  many  difficulties,  and  on  Christ- 
mas Day,  1844,  the  last  meeting  of  the  Society  was  held.  The 
membership  and  the  resources  were  inadequate  to  carry  forward 
the  work.  However,  in  1849,  twenty-eight  members  of  Baptist 
Churches  residing  in  Rockville,  issued  a  call  for  the  formation  of 
a  Baptist  Church.  Fourteen  members  met  at  the  home  of  E.  S. 
Hurlburt,  and  resolved  to  consider  themselves  an  indeDendent  Bap- 
tist Church,  to  be  known  by  the  name  of  the  Rockville  Baptist 
Church.  Elder  D.  D.  Lyon  acted  as  the  first  pastor.  The  Sundav 
meetings  were  held  in  Union  Hall,  in  the  Sears  Building,  recently 



erected  by  Jabez  Sears.  A  meeting  on  April  24,  1849,  records  the 
fact  that  the  committee  selected  to  hire  the  hall  secured  its  use 
for  the  sum  of  $62  a  year,  including  light  and  heat. 

The  first  edifice  of  the  Baptist  Church  was  ready  in  the  year 
1850,  located  on  West  Main  Street  (now  the  First  Evangelical 
Lutheran  Church  of  Rockville)  near  the  United  States  Envelope 
Company's  factory.  Elder  Henry  R.  Knapp  became  pastor  as  of 
April  21,  1850,  and  the  membership  grew  to  80.  Soon  after  the 
completion  of  the  church,  the  Frank  Mill  near  by  and  a  tenement 
house  and  boarding  house  were  burned.  It  is  said  that  Elder 
Knapp,  known  to  many  as  "Father"  Knapp,  stood  on  the  steps  of 
the  Church  and  prayed  most  earnestly  and  eloquently  that  the 
house  of  worship  might  be  saved.     The  Church  was  saved. 

"Father"  Knapp  resigned  on  May  1,  1852,  and  three  years 
later,  owing  to  financial  burdens,  the  Baptist  Society  sold  the  prop- 
erty to  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  for  $2,500.  Utterly  dis- 
couraged, the  members  held  no  meetings  for  twenty-seven  years 
(1855  to  1882).  Then  a  revival  of  interest  led  nineteen  members 
to  use  the  West  Store  in  White's  Opera  House  Block  as  a  mission 

In  May,  1883,  Rev.  L.  S.  Brown,  a  Baptist  clergyman  of  Tol- 
land, organized  a  movement  looking  toward  the  erection  of  a  church 
edifice.  This  desire  was  strengthened  by  a  flattering  offer  from 
the  Rock  Company  to  sell  to  the  society  the  old  Congregational 
parsonage  lot,  corner  of  Village  and  Union  Streets,  at  a  much 
smaller  price  than  the  Company  paid  for  it,  the  reduction  to  be 
considered  as  the  Company's  contribution  to  the  Church.  Mr. 
Brown  left  for  other  fields,  and  was  succeeded  by  a  Rev.  Walker. 
Ill-health  compelled  him  to  give  up  his  work.  For  two  years  Rev. 
A.  S.  Brown,  of  Hartford,  took  charge  of  the  work. 

The  present  edifice,  built  by  contractor  Camp,  of  Hartford, 
has  a  seating  capacity  of  265.  It  was  formally  dedicated  to  the 
service  of  God  on  Tuesday,  March  8,  1887,  the  exercises  occupy- 
ing afternoon  and  evening.  The  auditorium  was  filled  at  both 
services.    Rev.  C.  A.  Piddock,  of  Middletown,  acted  as  moderator. 

The  afternoon  service  was  opened  by  an  organ  voluntary,  fol- 
lowed by  the  singing  of  Mozart's  "Gloria."  The  acting  pastor,  Rev. 
A.  S.  Brown,  gave  the  invocation  and  Rev.  B.  K.  Savage,  of  Tol- 
land, read  the  scripture.  A  quartette  composed  of  Miss  Denley 
and  Mrs.  Schofield,  Messrs.  Schofield  and  Evans  sang  "Protect  Us 
Through  the  Coming  Night."     The  dedicatory  hymn,  written  for 


the  occasion  by  Mrs.  M.  L.  Barnes,  of  Hartford,  was  read  by  Rev. 
S.  B.  Forbes.  Rev.  A.  S.  Brown  made  a  statement  of  the  finances 
connected  with  the  building  of  the  Church  as  follows: 

Total  money  received  $7,925.98 

Bills  paid    '  6,476.87 

Cash  in  Treasury  $1,449.11 

Bills  to  be  paid  $1,655.00 

Deduct  sum  in  Treasury  1,449.11 

Deficiency  $    205.89 

Collections  made  at  the  dedication  services  amounting  to  $51.29 
in  the  afternoon  and  $50.28  in  the  evening,  totalled  $101.57,  leaving 
the  Church  debt  the  merely  nominal  sum  of  $103.71. 

The  sermon  was  delivered  by  Rev.  A.  G.  Palmer,  D.D.,  of  Ston- 
ington.  He  had  for  his  subject,  "Assurance  Is  the  Foundation  of 
Success,"  founded  on  Philippians  1:6,  a  well- written  and  fervently 
delivered  sermon.  The  closing  prayer  by  Rev.  Mr.  Chapman,  of 
Andover,  was  followed  by  Rev.  C.  H.  Ricketts  reading  "Coronation," 
sung  by  the  congregation.  A  very  interesting  service  closed  with 
the  benediction  by  the  pastor. 

The  auditorium  was  crowded  for  the  evening  service.  After 
the  organ  voluntary,  Schubert's  "Jubilate  Deo"  was  sung  by  the 
choir,  and  Rev.  J.  H.  James  gave  the  scripture  reading  and  the 
invocation.  "How  Lovely  Are  Thy  Messengers"  by  the  choir, 
prayer  by  Rev.  Mr.  Bachelder,  of  Stafford,  and  the  singing  of  a 
hymn  concluded  the  devotional  service. 

Rev.  L.  L.  Potter,  of  Hartford,  delivered  the  sermon  based  on 
II  Corinthians;  4:16.  The  preacher  graphically  illustrated  the 
power  of  mind  over  matter — the  action  of  the  spirit  on  the  body  is 
always  visible.  At  the  close  of  the  sermon  Mr.  George  Smith  sang 
a  solo,  "Bow  Down  and  Hear  Me,"  and  the  choir  rendered  "O  Sing 
Unto  the  Lord"  from  Mozart's  12th  Mass.  Interest  was  added  to 
the  occasion  by  remarks  of  local  pastors:  Rev.  Charles  Ricketts 
gave  a  pleasing  talk  on  "Unity  of  Work;"  Rev.  Samuel  B.  Forbes 
on  "Christian  Perseverance,"  and  Rev.  J.  H.  James  on  "Christian 
Unity  and  Cordial  Greeting."  Professor  Evans  directed  the  choir 
and  Miss  Randall  officiated  at  the  organ. 

The  pastor  thanked  all  who  had  interested  themselves  in  the 
work  of  erecting  and  furnishing  the  church,  especially  Mrs.  Hiran 
Fiske,  the  donor  of  the  Smith  organ,  and  the  donors  of  the  dining 
room   equipment. 


The  exterior  of  the  church  was  painted  in  1940. 

Dedication  of  the  Maas  Cathedral  Chimes  took  place  on  Feb- 
ruary 16,  1941. 

The  following  ministers  have  faithfully  served  a  very  loyal 
people  since  the  dedication  of  the  Church: 

Rev.  E.  W.  Potter  1887-1894 

Rev.  Piddock  1894-1895 

Rev.  A.  P.  Wedge  1895-1900 

Rev.  G.  D.  Gould  1900-1912 

Rev.  J.  H.  Adams  1912-1913 

Rev.  H.  D.  Pierce  1914-1916 

Rev.  C.  W.  Turner  1916-1918 

Rev.  R.  W.  Ferguson  1918-1926 

Rev.   Blake    Smith  1927-1929 

Rev.  Edward  L.  Nield  1930-1939 

Rev.  Frederick  W.  Rapp  1939-1941 

Rev.  Alvin  D.  Johnson  1942-1944 

Rev.  Adolph  Johnson  1945-1950 

Rev.  Edwin  A.  Brooks  1951- 

In  January,  1951,  the  church  called  the  Reverend  Edwin  A. 
Brooks,  who  was  at  that  time  finishing  work  towards  his  B.D.  de- 
gree at  Crozer  Theological  Seminary,  Chester,  Pennsylvania,  to  be 
the  pastor  of  the  church.  Mr.  Brooks  accepted  the  call  and  on 
February  20,  1951,  took  up  his  duties.  Upon  his  arrival,  he  found 
that  the  church  had  begun  a  program  of  renovating  the  church 
sanctuary.  The  former  parsonage  having  been  sold  the  month  be- 
fore, and  a  drive  for  funds  with  which  to  finance  the  renovation 
having  been  conducted  earlier  during  the  winter,  the  contract  was 
given  to  a  local  contractor,  Mr  Ernest  Welti. 

The  sanctuary  completed,  the  first  service  conducted  in  the 
rebeautified  house  of  worship  was  a  wedding  ceremony  on  Satur- 
day, May  26.  On  Sunday,  June  24,  the  renovated  sanctuary  was 
dedicated  to  "the  glory  of  God  and  the  worship  of  man."  The 
Reverend  Kenneth  M.  Cooper,  Director  of  Town  and  Country 
Churches  for  the  Connecticut  Baptist  Convention,  delivered  the 
sermon,  "Temple  Builders,'  and  former  pastors  of  the  church  as- 
sisted in  the  service  of  dedication.  Ministers  of  the  local  churches 
participated  in  the  processional. 

As  this  renovation  program  was  the  fruit  of  the  labor  of  the 
congregation  and  of  the  former  pastor,  the  Reverend  Adolph  John- 
son, so  was  the  institution  of  a  new  set  of  by-laws  for  the  church 
which  came  to  fruition  during  the  interim.  These  new  by-laws  in 
a  few  major  ways  departed  from  the  former  church  laws.  Some 
of  the  changes  to  be  noted  were:  One,  the  abolishment  of  the  Pru- 


dential  Board  and  the  elevating  of  those  former  board  members 
to  the  position  of  deaconesses;  two,  the  creation  of  a  Church  Coun- 
cil to  De  "the  general  planning  body  of  the  church,"  to  study  "the 
needs  of  the  cnurch  .  .  .  and  its  parish;  determine  the  ways  and 
means  by  which  the  policies  and  programs  of  the  church  shall  be 
carried  forward  .  .  .  and  to  correlate  the  programs  of  all  the  de- 
partments and  groups  in  the  church  into  one  co-ordinated  whole;" 
three,  the  acceptance  by  letter  as  an  Associate  Member,  of  "any 
person  who  professes  faith  in  Christ  and  is  a  member  of  any 
evangelical  church." 

In  November,  1951,  the  church  voted  to  secure  another  par- 
sonage, and  elected  the  Board  of  Trustees  plus  one  member-at- 
large  as  a  Building  Committee.  The  committee  acting  for  the 
church  decided  that  a  new  house  should  be  built  in  the  west  end 
of  the  city.  This  being  voted  upon  by  the  church  in  June,  1952, 
the  new  parsonage  was  constructed  off  Windsor  Avenue  on  prop- 
erty formerly  known  as  the  Burke  Farm,  Mr.  Benny  Szestowicki 
being  the  contractor.  The  pastor  and  family  moved  into  the  house 
in  January,  1953,  and  in  June  of  the  same  year  the  church  held 
the  dedication  service  for  the  new  parsonage. 

Through  the  years  The  Every  Mother's  Club  has  accomplished 
much.  It  was  organized  in  the  social  rooms  of  the  church  on  Sep- 
tember 23,  1921,  with  eleven  ladies.  Mrs.  R.  W.  Ferguson  was 
chosen  chairman,  and  Mrs.  Imogene  Starkey  and  Mrs.  Walter  Ed- 
wards, nominating  committee,  submitted  the  following  names — 
President,  Mrs.  Ellen  Seymour;  Vice-President,  Mrs.  Edith  Busher; 
Secretary,  Mrs.  R.  W.  Ferguson;  Treasurer,  Mrs.  Julia  Edwards. 

The  club  has  always  had  a  generous  heart,  giving  willingly  to 
needy  cases.  It  sent  out  baskets  of  food,  bought  coal  for  the  poor, 
worked  with  the  Visiting  Nurse  Association,  and  donations  to  New- 
ington  Home  for  Crippled  Children,  Connecticut  Children's  Aid 
Society,  Polio  and  Cancer  Funds,  Red  Cross  and  Salvation  Army. 

Important  historical  events  in  the  life  of  the  church  include 
three  ordinations  into  the  ministry,  of  Edward  W.  Porter,  of 
Rochester  Theological  School,  1887;  Frederick  W.  Rapp,  October, 
1939;  and  Alvin  D.  Johnson,  May,  1942. 

Evangelistic  services  were  held  in  January,  1894,  conducted 
by  Rev.  D.  T.  Wyman,  Evangelist.  Fifteen  were  baptized  and 
joined  the  church. 

During  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  A.  P.  Wedge  (1895-1900)  a  par- 
sonage was  built  on  Orchard  Street. 


Rev.  G.  D.  Gould's  pastorate  is  the  longest  the  Church  has 
yet  known  (1900-1912).  There  were  over  80  members  and  a  very 
active  Men's  Bible  Class. 

Many  church  alterations  were  made  in  1914,  and  the  build- 
ing was  raised  in  1915  about  five  feet,  making  possible  a  large 
vestry  underneath  and  better  facilities  at  a  cost  of  $6,000.  In  that 
year  Mr.  Fred  W.  Bradley  was  appointed  treasurer  of  the  church 
and  has  remained  in  that  office  ever  since. 

Mr.  Frederick  Swindells  gave  a  new  Hammond  electric  organ 
in  the  year  1935. 

The  fiftieth  anniversary  of  the  church  was  held  on  Thursday 
evening,  November  11,  1937. 





The  first  Roman  Catholic,  as  far  as  it  is  known,  to  settle  in 
Rockville  was  James  McAvenney  who  came  in  1842.  Six  years 
later,  in  1848,  about  fifteen  Catholics  assembled  at  the  first  Mass 
ever  celebrated  in  Rockville.  It  was  said  in  a  house  owned  by 
the  paper-mill  company  and  occupied  at  that  time  by  Christopher 
Carroll  and  his  family.  Rev.  John  Brady  of  Hartford  was  the  cele- 
brant. Among  the  attendants  at  that  first  Mass  were  Christopher 
Carroll,  Patrick  Quinn,  Edward  Gorman,  Thomas  McDonnell, 
Denis  O'Donnell,  James  Conner,  Philip  Kiernan,  Matthew  Fay, 
Eugene  Kiernan,  Patrick  Duffy,  Martin  Flood,  John  Moore  and 
Michael  Lkwlor. 

In  1849  it  was  decided  to  have  regular  monthly  visits,  when 
confessions  would  be  heard  and  Mass  offered  up.  Rev.  James 
Smyth,  an  assistant  of  Father  Brady,  was  sent  to  perform  this  duty, 
and  officiated  at  monthly  intervals  at  the  Albert  Lamb  house,  where 
Patrick  Quinn  resided.  He  also  said  Mass  in  the  Dean  house  on 
Mountain  Street,  where  Martin  Flood  and  his  family  then  lived. 

In  1851  a  larger  place  was  secured  by  renting  a  room  on  the 
second  floor  of  the  "Brick  Tavern,"  upstairs  on  the  west  side.  The 
altar  used  here  was  in  the  keeping  of  Michael  Regan  in  1888.  In 
1853  a  small  hall  on  Market  Street,  over  the  Rockville  meat  mar- 
ket, was  rented.  This  hall,  used  in  later  years  by  the  St.  John's 
Young  Men's  Society,  was  afterwards  destroyed  by  fire.  Mass  was 
said  here  by  Father  Smyth  and  others  until  March  15,  1854.  Then 
Rev.  Peter  Egan  assumed  charge  as  the  first  resident  pastor  with 
Manchester,  Stafford  Springs,  Broad  Brook  and  Mansfield  as  de- 
pendencies. Soon  the  temporary  church  was  found  insufficent 
and  a  permanent  church  was  decided  upon.  The  funds  of  the 
Catholics  were  small  and  there  was  some  prejudice  also  in  ex- 
istence at  that  time.  However,  a  more  friendly  disposition  soon 
became  manifest.  One  of  the  first  to  show  it  was  Hanly  Kellogg, 
a  druggist,  who  conducted  his  business  on  the  terrace.  He  offered 
his  entire  property  to  the  Catholics  on  terms  suitable  to  them  and 
they  soon  made  use  of  the  opportunity  presented.  The  store  was 
moved  back  to  School  Street  and  was  known  afterwards  as  the 
Blake  House.  The  site  where  St.  Bernard's  now  stands  was  pur- 
chased in  1855  by  Father  Egan. 

Work  on  the  new  church  was  begun  at  once  and  advanced 



rapidly.  Before  it  was  completed  Father  Egan  removed  to  Lee, 
Massachusetts,  on  November  12,  1856.  He  also  purchased  the 
cemetery  on  the  Tolland  road,  consisting  of  five  acres,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1854. 

Rev.  Bernard  Tully  completed  the  erection  of  the  church, 
which  was  dedicated  soon  after  he  came  to  Rockville.  Bishop  Mc- 
Farland  officiated  on  that  occasion.  In  1863  Father  Tully  was 
transferred  to  Thompsonville.  His  successor  at  St.  Bernard's  was 
Rev.  Hugh  O'Reilly.  The  parish  of  St.  Bernard's  grew  so  large 
that  an  assistant  became  necessary.  Rev.  John  Rogers  of  St. 
Mary's  Church,  Bridgeport,  was  sent  to  help  out. 

On  February  26,  1868,  Father  O'Reilly  was  promoted  to  Val- 
ley Falls,  Rhode  Island,  and  Father  Tully  returned  to  become,  for 
the  second  time,  pastor  of  Rockville.  A  year  later  Father  Tully 
died  while  riding  to  Ellington.  The  Catholics  of  Rockville  and 
Manchester  erected  a  splendid  monument  in  memory  of  their  dead 
pastor.  It  still  stands  at  the  southeast  entrance  to  St.  Bernard's 
Church,  Rockville.  Father  Tully 's  assistant  was  Rev.  William 
Halligan,  who  died  in  Pawtucket,  Rhode  Island. 

Rev.  James  Quinn  was  appointed  in  September,  1869,  and  la- 
bored zealously  until  his  death  on  December  1,  1872.  The  parish 
was  well  spread  out  at  that  time.  For  a  few  months  before  he 
died,  Father  Quinn  was  assisted  by  Rev.  Thomas  L.  Lynch. 

In  November,  1872,  Rev.  Patrick  P.  Lawlor  took  charge  and 
reorganized  the  parish.  He  paid  off  the  debt  and  built  an  addi- 
tion to  the  vestry.  He  remained  only  one  year  and  was  transferred 
to  New  London. 

Rev.  John  J.  Furlong  was  appointed  on  December  25,  1873, 
but  was  prevented  by  illness  from  assuming  charge  until  January 
24,  1874.  In  the  meantime  Rev.  T.  L.  Lynch  was  in  charge  of  the 
parish.  Father  Furlong  greatly  improved  the  cemetery.  In  1875 
he  placed  a  new  altar  in  the  Church,  moved  the  church  back  forty 
feet  and  raised  it  six  feet  and  also  put  a  new  front  with  a  tower 
on  the  Church.  Bishop  Galberry  rededicated  it  January  20,  1878. 
The  interior  had  been  handsomely  decorated,  a  new  organ  installed, 
new  pews  and  beautiful  stained  glass  windows  as  well. 

In  February,  1886,  Father  Furlong  purchased  the  Johnson  site 
on  Park  Street  and  fitted  up  the  house  for  a  convent.  To  this  prop- 
erty was  added  the  Cogswell  lot  adjacent.  The  Sisters  of  Mercy 
went  to  live  there. 




The  school  lot  on  School  Street  was  also  secured  by  Father 
Furlong.  The  old  building  which  Father  Egan  had  removed  to 
make  room  for  the  Church  was  on  this  lot.  This  building  was  re- 
modeled for  the  Sisters  who  moved  from  Park  Street  into  it  on 
May  15,  1895. 

The  parochial  school  held  its  first  sessions  in  the  basement  of 
the  Church,  which  was  fitted  up  for  school  purposes.  The  Sisters 
of  Mercy  arrived  November  3,  1886.  The  school  opened  May  2, 
1887,  with  five  grades  and  over  300  children.  One  year  before 
leaving  Rockville  for  St.  Mary's,  Norwalk,  Father  Furlong  began 
the  erection  of  the  parochial  school;  this  was  in  1894.  The  corner 
stone  was  laid  on  August  11,  1895,  by  Very  Rev.  John  A.  Mulcahy, 
Vicar  General  of  the  Diocese.  On  September  10,  1895,  the  new 
school  was  opened.  Shortly  afterwards  there  were  319  pupils.  An 
excellent  course  of  studies  and  strict  discipline  gave  the  students 
a  good  foundation  on  which  to  build  success  in  later  years. 

Father  Furlong  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  John  Cooney,  who  was 
assisted  by  Rev.  Thomas  Murray.  He  was  appointed  pastor  of  St. 
Bernard's  on  October  7,  1896.  He  remained  four  years,  serving 
the  people  of  the  parish  well  and  winning  the  love  and  reverence 
of  the  faithful. 


A  few  years  before,  the  first  native  of  Rockville  to  be  elevated 
to  the  priesthood  had  been  ordained.  He  was  Rev.  Arthur  O'Keefe, 
who  was  ordained  on  December  18,  1883.  Many  other  young  men 
followed  in  his  footsteps,  some  of  them  still  living  and  doing  good 
work  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord. 

On  September  12,  1900,  Rev.  Luke  Fitzsimons  was  promoted 
from  New  Hartford  to  Rockville  to  succeed  Father  Cooney  who 
had  ben  sent  to  St.  Rose's  Church,  Meriden. 

Four  years  later  St.  Bernard's  Church  was  completely  de- 
stroyed by  fire.  A  new  church  had  to  be  built,  so  the  pastor  set 
to  work  with  a  will  to  succeed.  The  beautiful  brick  church,  with 
its  twin  steeples,  its  limestone  tracing,  its  exquisite  stained  glass 
windows,  its  marble  altars,  railing  and  statues,  its  comfortable 
pews  and  kneelers,  its  large  seating  capacity,  is  truly  a  house  of 
God  and  a  gate  of  Heaven  for  thousands  of  Catholic  people  in 
Rockville.  This  church,  which  stands  on  one  of  the  finest  sites 
in  Connecticut,  on  a  terrace  about  fifty  feet  above  the  main  street, 
was  dedicated  in  1905.  In  1910  Father  Fitzsimons  became  perma- 
nent rector  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  Church  in  Waterbury. 

On  July  31,  1910,  Rev.  Michael  May  took  possession  and 
worked  with  great  zeal  for  ten  years  to  promote  the  welfare  of  his 
parish.  The  present  beautiful  rectory  was  built  under  his  super- 
vision, and  everything  necessary  for  a  well  appointed  and  smoothly 
functioning  Church  institution  was  now  at  hand.  After  several 
years  of  hard  and  fruitful  labor  he  was  made  pastor  of  St.  Pat- 
rick's Church,  Norwich,  in  June,  1921. 

Rev.  George  Sinnott  then  came  to  Rockville  on  June  11,  1921, 
and  the  parish  made  steady  progress  under  his  administration.  He 
built  a  convent  on  School  Street,  a  well  planned  edifice  for  the 
Sisters  of  Mercy,  whose  self-sacrifice,  skill,  teaching  ability  and 
good  example  are  reflected  in  the  characters  of  thousands  of  their 
former  pupils.  He  devoted  much  of  his  time  to  supervising  the 
"city  of  the  dead,"  the  only  Catholic  cemetery  in  the  towns  of 
Vernon,  Tolland  and  Ellington.  He  passed  to  his  eternal  reward 
early  in  1937. 

He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Edward  J.  Quinn  who  did  remark- 
able work  in  improving  the  church  property  in  the  short  time  given 
him  for  this  task.  He  improved  the  interior  of  the  Church  and  rec- 
tory, showing  excellent  taste  in  redecoration  and  in  beautifying  the 
sanctuary  in  particular.  His  landscaping  of  the  Church  grounds 
has  added  greatly  to  the  beauty  of  the  Church  property.    He  hard- 


surfaced  the  school  yard  and  the  terrace  road  in  front  ol  the  Church 
and  Rectory.  He  likewise  improved  the  appearance  ol  the  ceme- 
tery in  the  same  manner,  hardening  the  roads  and  sotting  out 
scores  of  evergreen  trees,  some  of  which  wore  destroyed  by  the 
hurricane  of  1938.  In  the  summer  of  1910  he  was  taken  from  his 
labors  by  the  Great  Master. 

Shortly  afterwards  Rev.  James  Q.  Dolan  was  placed  in  charge 
of  the  parish  and  was  well  equipped  for  the  work.  Ho  installed 
a  very  modern  heating  plant  in  the  Church,  thus  insuring  comfort 
even  in  the  coldest  weather.  He  also  turned  his  attention  to  the 
school  and  gave  it  the  most  up  to  date  equipment  available,  such 
as  drinking  fountains  and  fluorescent  lighting  of  all  classrooms  and 
corridors.  In  addition  to  that  he  was  an  excellent  preacher,  having 
served  for  several  years  on  the  Diocesan  Mission  Band. 

Father  Dolan  was  promoted  to  St.  Joseph's  Church.  Meriden. 
where  he  is  continuing  his  good  work  for  the  salvation  of  souls. 

On  June  17,  1941,  Rev.  Patrick  J.  Mahoney  was  placed  in 
charge  of  St.  Bernard's  Parish  and  immediately  set  to  work.  He 
renewed  the  front  wall  of  the  Church  where  the  elements  had  done 
considerable  damage,  reinforced  the  interior  of  the  twin  steeples, 
installed  sponge  rubber  kneelers,  repaired  all  walks,  pointed  and 
weatherstripped  buildings,  reinforced  all  buildings,  and  has  begun 
to  improve  the  interior  of  the  Church.  With  the  cooperation  of 
his  parishioners  he  is  in  charge  of  an  excellent  Church  property, 
all  free  from  debt,  of  which  any  community  might  well  be  proud, 
each  building  in  excellent  condition.  The  spiritual  work,  of  course, 
has  not  been  neglected,  for  the  Catholics  of  Rockville  are  loyal 
to  their  Church  and  its  teaching.  Thus  over  a  period  of  many 
years  the  Catholic  parish  of  St.  Bernard's  had  grown  steadily  and 
today  it  flourishes  as  it  points  its  steeples  to  the  sky  and  proclaims 
to  all  who  will  listen  that  Christ  is  the  Way,  the  Truth  and  the 

Besides  the  pastors  mentioned  above  mam'  other  priests  have 
served  as  assistants  in  St.  Bernard's  Church.  Mam-  missionaries 
likewise  have  come  here  to  strengthen  the  faith  of  the  people  and 
to  refresh  the  memories  of  the  people  in  regard  to  the  truths  of 
their  religion. 

Among  the  priests  who  have  assisted  the  pastors  in  their  work 
are  the  following: 

Rev.  John  F.  Rogers,  Rev.  J.  O'Keefe,  Rev.  Thomas  L.  Lynch, 
Rev.  Jeremiah  J.  Curtin,  Rev.  J.  E.  Clark,  Rev.  Thomas  J.  Murray, 




Rev.  R.  Bardek,  Rev.  P.  Daley,  Rev.  A.  Dykmans,  Rev.  Thomas  H. 
Tiernan,  Rev.  J.  M.  Raniszewski,  Rev.  James  L.  Smith,  Rev.  Francis 
C.  Higgins,  Rev.  Francis  J.  Hinchey,  Rev.  Frederick  H.  Olschefskie, 
Rev.  John  E.  Cavanaugh,  Rev.  Francis  P.  Breen,  Rev.  Aloysius  G. 
Geist,  Rev.  Charles  H.  Corcoran  and  Rev.  Leonard  T.  Goode,  and 
Rev.  Stanley  J.  Nazzaro,  Rev.  Edmund  J.  Barrett,  and  Rev.  Lau- 
rence Leclair. 

On  February  1,  1948,  the  territory  of  Vernon  that  lies  outside 
the  city  limits  of  Rockville  was  added  to  St.  Bernard's  Parish.  This 
includes  the  Sacred  Heart  Church  of  Vernon.  The  people,  how- 
ever, felt  right  at  home,  as  their  children  have  for  many  years  at- 
tended St.  Bernard's  School,  and  they  now  are  cared  for  by  the 
clergy  of  their  own  town.  In  1953  Vernon  was  made  a  parish  in 
its  own  right,  with  Rev.  Fr.  Ralph  Kelley  as  pastor. 

Today  the  three  towns  of  Vernon,  Tolland,  and  Ellington  make 
up  St.  Bernard's  Parish.  All  Catholics  and  their  friendly  neighbors 
should  rejoice  because  the  year  1948  was  the  one  hundredth  anni- 
versary of  the  first  Mass  celebrated  in  Rockville.  Thousands  now 
worship  where  only  a  handful  assembled  then.  Peace  and  com- 
fort have  replaced  hardship  and  uncertainty,  and  divine  services 
are  offered  up  to  God  by  a  devout  and  grateful  congregation. 





The  First  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church  of  Rockville,  Connecti- 
cut, was  organized  on  September  23,  1866,  as  the  Lutheran  Society 
and  later  known  as  the  West  Main  Street  German  Evangelical 
Lutheran  Church.  Rockville  of  that  day  was  predominantly  a  Ger- 
man settlement  and  because  of  this  Rev.  Hanser  of  a  Boston  con- 
gregation gave  his  attention  and  efforts  to  the  needs  of  a  Lutheran 
Church  here.  The  first  Church  Council  elected  on  that  23rd  day 
of  September  was  as  follows:  A.  Lining,  President;  J.  Bonnet,  Vice- 
President;  Charles  Bausch,  Secretary;  G.  Mann,  Treasurer;  and  A. 
Laubscher.  Collector.  On  October  7th  the  congregation  held  an- 
other meeting  and  reported  that  the  membership  of  the  congrega- 
tion had  grown  to  97,  with  a  treasury  of  $760.  The  Ladies'  Aid 
Benevolent  Society  was  organized  shortly  thereafter,  likewise  was 
a  Sunday  School  founded  at  the  time  the  church  was  dedicated. 

On  November  15th  of  that  same  vear  Rev.  Graeber  was  called 
to  become  the  first  Pastor.  Sendees  were  being  held  regularly  in 
the  Sunday  School  rooms  of  the  Second  Congregational  Church. 
On  April  2,  1867,  the  congregation  acquired  the  present  church 
property,  which  was  owned  at  that  time  bv  the  Methodists,  for  the 
sum  of  *6,250.  The  building  had  been  built  bv  the  Baptists  in 

Pastor  Graeber  resigned  in  1869  to  go  to  Meriden,  and  the 
Rev.  Simon  succeeded  him.  He  remained  until  1871  when  Rev. 
Frev  was  called.  In  1874  Rev.  Frev  resigned  to  accept  a  call  to 
serve  in  Albanv,  New  York,  and  Rev.  Soergel  succeeded  him. 
During  his  pastorate  a  new  altar  and  pulpit  were  dedicated. 

Also  during;  those  years  some  dissatisfaction  arose  because  of 
congregational  and  personal  requirements  exacted  from  its  mem- 
bers bv  the  Missouri  Synod  and  in  June  of  1882  Rev.  Soergel  sev- 
ered connections  with  the  congregation  and,  taking  with  him  a 
small  minority,  organized  another  church  in  the  city.  Rev.  C.  A. 
Graepp,  a  member  of  the  Canada  Svnod,  was  then  called  to  serve 
the  congregation.  The  church  having  been  a  member  of  the  Mis- 
souri Synod  for  nine  years,  now  affiliated  with  the  New  York  Min- 

In  1886  the  site  of  a  parsonage  was  purchased  and  one  erected 
at  a  cost  of  ^2,000.  In  1888  the  Rev.  Graepp  resigned  to  serve  in 
New  York,  and  the  Rev.  G.  F.  Hartwig  was  called  as  Pastor.     In 



September,  1888,  the  first  Luther  League  in  Connecticut  was  or- 
ganized and  immediately  accepted  the  obligation  of  a  pipe  organ 
at  a  cost  of  $650.  The  Ladies'  Aid  then  paid  off  the  remaining 
debt  on  the  parsonage. 

Through  the  years  renovations  and  improvements  were  made. 
The  store  which  had  occupied  the  basement  of  the  church  was 
renovated  to  accommodate  the  Sunday  School  and  various  organi- 
zational meetings. 

Various  memorials  have  been  placed  in  the  church,  among 
them  an  altar,  lectern,  bell  and  two  chancel  windows.  In  1911 
electric  lights  and  fixtures  were  first  installed.  In  1914  a  metal 
ceiling  was  installed  in  the  sanctuary,  being  donated  bv  the  Ladies' 
Aid.  In  1915  a  16  foot  extension  was  constructed  to  the  rear  of 
the  church,  thus  providing  a  chancel  on  the  church  level  and  a 
kitchen  on  the  Sunday  School  level. 

In  1919  the  Rev.  Hartwig  resigned  in  order  that  he  might 
retire  and  the  Rev.  Otten  was  called  as  Pastor.  English  services 
were  then  held  twice  a  month.  The  Duplex  Envelope  Svstem  was 
introduced  in  1920.  During  the  ministry  of  Pastor  Otten  a  Broth- 
erhood  and  Sewing  Circle  were  organized.  In  December,  1925,  an 
electrically  equipped  Estey  Organ  costing  over  $4,000  was  dedi- 
cated. In  1926  Rev.  Otten  accepted  a  call  to  Staten  Island  and 
the  Rev.  J.  Bauchmann  succeeded  him  as  Pastor.  During  the  pas- 
torate of  Rev.  Bauchmann  English  services  were  conducted  every 
Sunday.  In  1927,  a  new  and  special  heating  system  was  installed 
and  the  entire  first  floor  was  renovated.  In  1928  the  name  of  the 
church  was  changed  from  the  West  Main  Street  German  Evan- 
gelical Lutheran  Church  to  the  First  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church 
and  incorporated  as  such.  The  organization,  the  Busv  Bees,  was 
organized.  The  Church  Council  which  formally  consisted  of 
twelve  members  was  enlarged  to  nineteen  members.  Pastor  Bauch- 
mann resigned  in  1929.  He  was  succeeded  bv  Pastor  Drach.  In 
1930  a  two-car  garage  was  built  at  the  parsonage  for  $490  and  the 
old  buildings  were  torn  down.  On  October  5th  a  Harvest  Home 
Festival  was  held.  In  1931  Pastor  Drach  resigned  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  the  Rev.  K.  O.  Klette.  In  1932  a  sunporch  was  built 
on  the  parsonage  bv  the  financial  efforts  of  the  Sewing  Circle.  The 
Junior  Choir  was  organized  in  1935.  In  1937  the  church  building 
was  shingled  and  the  tower  structure  revamped.  In  1938  the 
sanctuary  was  redecorated.  The  parsonage  was  shingled  in  1941. 
In  1944  the  congregation  gave  nearly  $900  to  the  Wagner-Hart- 


wick  College  Appeal.  In  1946  the  heating  system  in  the  church 
and  parsonage  were  converted  to  oil,  the  three  oil  burners  being 
donated  by  two  members. 

The  Rev.  Gordon  E.  Hohl,  of  the  Trinity  Lutheran  Church, 
Brewster,  New  York,  was  called  in  1950,  and  occupied  the  pulpit 
of  First  Lutheran  Church  here  for  the  first  time  on  October  22, 

During  the  past  three  years  First  Lutheran  has  paid  its  full 
apportionment  to  the  United  Lutheran  Church  in  America,  remit- 
ting $6,514  during  the  three-year  period.  In  addition  to  this  amount 
First  Lutheran  has  also  paid  during  the  last  three  years  $3,900 
to  other  benevolent  work  of  the  church.  First  Lutheran  is  a  mis- 
sion-minded congregation.  Also  in  1953  First  Lutheran  went  on 
a  building  drive  to  erect  two  new  wings  on  its  present  building  in 
order  to  provide  individual  rooms  for  Sunday  School  classes.  The 
drive  was  successful  and  work  was  started  the  first  part  of  July. 
On  December  13,  1953,  the  new  Parish  Educational  Units  were 
dedicated,  providing  eight  new  classrooms,  two  cloakrooms  and 
two  new  lavatories.  The  kitchen  of  the  church  was  also  enlarged 
and  modernized,  and  the  main  Sunday  School  room  was  redeco- 
rated. In  August  of  1953,  four  young  people  from  First  Lutheran 
along  with  the  Rev.  and  Mrs.  Gordon  E.  Hohl  attended  the  Na- 
tional Convention  of  the  Luther  League  of  America  at  Miami  Uni- 
versity, Oxford,  Ohio. 





This  church  was  organized  May  29,  1882,  and  incorporated  in 
1892  as  the  "German  Evangelical  Lutheran  Trinity  Church,"  the 
certificate  of  organization  being  filed  on  April  7,  1892.  At  that 
time  the  ecclesiastical  society  turned  over  the  property  to  the 
church  corporation. 

This  church  was  founded  because  of  a  schism  in  the  original 
German  Lutheran  Church  of  Rockville,  now  the  "First  Evangelical 
Lutheran  Church  of  Rockville,  Connecticut,"  affiliated  witii  the 
United  Lutheran  Church.  During  the  pastorate  of  the  Rev.  N. 
Soergel,  who  came  in  1875,  a  disagreement  arose  on  the  question 
whether  members  of  secret  societies  could  be  considered  as  true 
members  of  the  church.  In  1882,  forty-two  men  withdrew  from 
membership  in  the  old  church.  They  formed  the  Trinity  congre- 
gation, which  affiliated  with  the  Missouri  Svnod,  as  that  svnod  dis- 
approved  secret  societies.  Pastor  Soergel,  who  sympathized  with 
them,  gave  his  farewell  sermon  on  May  28,  1882,  and  on  the  fol- 
lowing day  joined  in  forming  the  new  church.  He  became  the 
first  settled  pastor,  serving  until  November,  1885,  when  he  accepted 
a  call  to  Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania.  His  successors  in  the  pastorate 
have  been:  the  Rev.  Messrs.  O.  F.  T.  Hanser,  1886-1901;  J.  Heck 
of  New  York,  1901-5;  W.  von  Schenk  from  Belleville,  Illinois, 
1905-21;  A.  Ulkus  of  Wildrose,  North  Dakota,  1921-23;  and  E.  O. 
Pieper,  1923—. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  congregation,  May  29,  1882,  took  place 
in  a  private  house;  the  first  service  in  a  hotel.  Later,  while  the 
church  was  being  erected,  services  were  conducted  in  the  present 
building  of  St.  John's  Episcopal  Church.  The  present  church  lot 
on  Prospect  Street  was  purchased  for  $300  and  the  church  was 
built  for  $6500.  The  corner  stone  was  laid  on  October  25,  1882, 
and  on  the  third  Sunday  in  Advent  the  first  service  was  held  in 
the  basement. 

The  completed  edifice  was  dedicated  on  June  3,  1883.  It  is 
an  imposing,  wooden-frame  building,  clapboarded  and  painted 
white,  on  a  cut  stone  foundation,  with  a  basement  for  school  and 
parish  rooms.  The  architectural  style  is  that  of  the  American 
Gothic  revival,  with  doors  and  windows  having  pointed  arches. 
The  front  entrance  is  through  a  square  tower,  which  has  a  belfry 
with  one  bell  and  is  surmounted  by  a  lofty,  shingled  spire  carrying 



a  weather  vane.  The  first  organ  was  obtained  in  1890,  installed 
by  the  Young  People's  Society;  the  present  Austin  organ  was  in- 
stalled in  May,  1926,  and  dedicated  on  August  22nd.  On  October 
6,  1894,  the  Ladies'  Aid  Society  bought  a  lot  adjoining  the  church 
property  for  homes  for  the  pastor  and  teacher. 

Many  additions  and  improvements  have  been  made  to  the 
church,  including  a  renovation,  and  a  baptismal  font  presented 
by  the  Young  People's  Society  in  1888;  shingling  the  roof,  paid  for 
by  the  Ladies'  Aid  Society,  1905;  a  complete  renovation,  1907;  new 
heating  system,  1907;  alteration  and  renovation  of  the  basement 
and  installation  of  a  kitchen,  1920;  renovation  and  redecoration, 
1926,  paid  for  by  the  Ladies'  Aid;  chancel  windows  and  candle- 
sticks, 1926;  complete  renovation  and  redecoration  and  many  me- 
morial gifts  at  the  fiftieth  anniversary,  May  29,  1932. 

The  parish  school  was  opened  by  Pastor  Hanser  as  a  private 
undertaking  about  1886,  but  in  March,  1888,  was  taken  over  by  the 
congregation.  It  was  continued  for  many  years  in  both  English 
and  German  by  various  teachers  and  sometimes  by  the  pastor  him- 
self. The  enrollment  fluctuated,  but  on  the  whole  tended  to  de- 
cline, until  in  October,  1916,  there  were  but  24  pupils.  On  July  3, 
1917,  the  congregation  therefore  voted  to  discontinue  it. 

This  church  from  time  to  time  has  taken  charge  of  other 
churches  and  missions.  Pastor  Hanser  served  a  mission  at  Broad 
Brook,  begun  under  Pastor  Frey  of  the  original  church  (1872-75). 
This  mission  is  mentioned  as  late  as  1905,  when  Pastor  von  Schenk 
served  it.  Pastor  Soergel  started  a  mission  in  South  Manchester, 
which  later  organized  as  a  church  with  its  own  pastor,  in  1891.  It 
is  now  the  Zion  Church.  In  January,  1924,  the  parish  assumed 
care  of  the  Church  of  the  Redeemer  in  Willimantic  under  the  wise 
and  consecrated  guidance  of  Rev.  E.  O.  Pieper,  who  came  to  Rock- 
ville  in  the  year  1923.  Mr.  Pieper  served  the  Church  of  the  Re- 
deemer for  17  years  until  it  became  an  independent  congrega- 
tion. Services  in  German  and  in  English  were  maintained  until 
1941,  when  the  service  in  German  was  discontinued.  The  Com- 
municant membership  of  the  church  stood  at  200  in  1955  with  325 
baptized  persons  in  the  parish.  Mr.  Pieper  continues  to  serve  with 
undiminished  fervor  after  32  years  as  pastor. 


The  history  of  St.  John's  Parish,  unlike  that  of  many  New  Eng- 
land parishes,  is  relatively  brief.  The  Episcopalians  did  not  flourish 
here  until  the  middle  of  the  last  century.  Of  course  there  were 
families  of  this  communion  living  in  Vernon,  but  they  were  too  few 
to  start  a  mission  or  even  a  Sunday  School.  If  any  one  was  overly 
particular  as  to  how  he  was  to  be  married  or  buried,  there  were 
churches  in  Hartford  and  East  Hartford  that  could  take  care  of  his 
wants  and  cater  to  his  peculiarities.  Broad  Brook  was  the  nearest 
parish  in  1847,  when  the  Rev.  Mr.  Clerc  united  in  marriage  Dr. 
Alfred  R.  Goodrich  and  Miss  Charlotte  Dobson,  probably  in  the 
Rockville  home  of  the  bride,   (possibly  it  was  Dobsonville ) . 

The  first  Protestant  Episcopal  Church  service  ever  held  in 
Rockville  was  conducted  by  the  Rev.  Enoch  Huntington,  of  Broad 
Brook,  in  the  upper  room  of  the  Jabez  Sears  building  on  Market 
Street  in  1851.  Services  were  held  a  few  times  subsequently  by 
Mr.  Huntington  in  Keeney's  hall.  From  1851  to  1855  the  Episco- 
palians of  Rockville  went  to  Broad  Brook  for  their  religious  min- 




istrations,  but  writing  in  the  Parish  Register  of  the  Broad  Brook 
Church  in  1855  Mr.  Huntington  stated  that  he  held  a  service  in 
the  "hall  of  the  Rockville  Hotel."  The  hall  was  crowded.  It  was 
thought  that  over  300  persons  were  present.  This,  he  says,  was 
the  third  service  held  there.  He  thought  that  at  some  future  time 
a  chapel  might  be  built  in  Rockville  to  accommodate  the  Episco- 
palians. A  Mrs.  Chapman  was  at  that  time  the  proprietress  of  the 

From  1855  to  1862  occasional  services  were  held  in  Keeney's 
hall  by  Mr.  Mines  of  Broad  Brook  and  by  Bishop  Williams.  From 
1862  to  1865  the  Sacraments  were  administered  in  private  by  Mr. 
Short,  of  Broad  Brook. 

From  1871  to  1873  services  were  kept  up  by  the  Rev.  John  T. 
Huntington  of  St.  James'  Church,  Hartford,  and  by  lay-readers — 
D.  E.  Peabody,  W.  B.  Buckingham  and  others.  Some  of  these 
services  were  held  in  the  First  Lutheran  Church  on  West  Main 
Street,  others  in  a  hall  on  Market  Street,  at  or  near  Beer's  Bakery. 
In  1872  the  Parish  was  granted  an  organization  by  the  Diocesan 
Convention  of  that  year.  In  June  1873  the  Rev.  Harlow  R.  Whit- 
lock  (Deacon)  was  appointed  Minister  in  Charge,  and  after  his 
ordination  to  the  Priesthood  the  following  year,  was  made  rector. 
He  resigned  in  1879. 

The  corner  stone  was  laid  October  2,  1874,  with  appropriate 
ceremonies.  A  tin  box  containing  a  Bible,  a  Prayer  Book,  and  the 
records  of  the  Parish  was  deposited  in  the  stone. 

On  Tuesday  afternoon,  December  22,  of  that  year,  Bishop 
John  Williams  opened  and  dedicated  the  new  building,  corner  of 
Talcott  and  Ellington  Avenues,  where  formerly  stood  John  Davis's 
large  barn.  Davis  peddled  milk  in  that  territory  at  five  cents  a 
quart.  A  Mason  and  Hamlin  organ  had  been  purchased  and  placed 
in  position  on  Saturday,  the  19th  of  December.  From  early  morn- 
ing almost  to  the  time  of  commencement  of  the  exercises  the  weath- 
er was  stormy.  But  suddenly  and  contrary  to  all  expectations,  the 
storm  subsided,  and  the  sun  came  out  bright  and  warm.  The 
Bishop  in  his  address  expressed  earnest  hope  that  the  day  might 
prove  to  have  been  emblematical  of  the  Episcopal  Church  in  Rock- 
ville, whose  history  hitherto  had  been  in  the  main  anything  but 

Because  no  parish  register  was  kept  until  Mr.  Whitlock's  time, 
one  would  have  to  look  in  the  records  of  other  parishes,  like  that  of 
St.  James,  Hartford,  or  Grace  Church,  Broad  Brook,  for  official 


acts  performed  in  Rockville,  or  for  Rockville  people.  The  first 
list  of  officers  cannot  be  found.  From  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Whit- 
lock  in  1879  to  1884,  services  were  conducted  by  lay-readers,  Mr. 
Freeland  of  Trinity  Church,  Hartford,  Jr.  F.  D.  Buckley,  afterward 
rector  of  Grace  Church,  Stafford  Springs,  and  Trinity  Church, 

On  the  first  Sunday  in  Advent  the  Rev.  William  Foster  Bielby 
was  appointed  Rector,  and  a  succession  of  resident  pastors  has  con- 
tinued to  this  day.  Mr.  Bielby  also  had  charge  of  Broad  Brook, 
thus  reversing  the  procedure  of  earlier  years  and  suggesting  the 
growing  strength  of  the  Rockville  congregation.  Under  this  rector 
many  basic  improvements  were  made  in  the  material  fabric  of  the 
church.  Laymen  prominent  in  his  time  were  William  Randall,  in 
whose  memory  a  chancel  window  was  placed,  (still  in  use);  Ed- 
ward Hurlbert,  William  Austin,  Thomas  Hewitt. 

Mr.  Bielby  resigned  in  June,  1888,  and  was  followed  by  the 
Rev.  Elijah  J.  Roke,  from  the  diocese  of  Maryland.  He  served  less 
than  a  year,  resigning  in  April,  1889. 

The  Rev.  Clarence  E.  Ball  was  the  next  rector,  from  April, 
1889,  to  the  summer  of  1891.  There  was  still  a  debt  of  $4500  on 
the  church  building  when  he  left.  He  seems  to  have  been  ener- 
getic and  a  good  executive,  organizing  the  Woman's  Aid  Society 
and  the  Men's  Guild.  He  also  was  the  author  of  an  elaborate  code 
of  by-laws,  determining  the  conditions  of  legal  membership,  etc. 
The  financial  set-up  was  completely  changed  and  all  pews  and 
sittings  were  made  free. 

Mr.  Ball  was  followed  by  the  Rev.  Samuel  Derby,  after  a  year's 
interim,  during  which  the  Rev.  J.  B.  Robinson  was  minister  in 
charge.  Mr.  Derby  succeeded  in  getting  a  handsome  and  conveni- 
ent rectory  built  in  1895.  Incidentally  the  "founding  fathers"  made 
a  very  wise  choice  in  selecting  the  location  of  the  church  and  rec- 
tory, a  fine  residential  section,with  no  danger  of  encroachments 
from  business  or  industry  to  mar  the  Sabbath  peace.  The  Rev. 
Robert  Clarkson  Tongue  succeeded  Mr.  Derby  in  1896  and  was 
the  rector  for  three  years.  He  was  a  very  able  young  man,  wrote 
poems  for  "The  Youth's  Companion"  occasionally,  and  was  called 
to  a  much  larger  parish  in  Meriden,  where  he  died  after  a  brief 
but  memorable  ministry. 

The  Rev.  John  H.  George  was  the  next  rector  (1899-1915). 
Under  Mr.  George,  a  very  consecrated  and  devoted  pastor  and 
teacher,   the  choir  was  vested  and  a  new   organ   installed.     The 


church  was  consecrated  by  Bishop  Chauncy  Bunco  Brewster.  \Ia\ 
30,  1905.  The  Rev.  John  \V.  Woessner,  ol  West  Texas,  was  min- 
ister in  charge  for  a  few  months  in  L915,  or  until  the  Rev.  Edward 
T.  Mathison  was  called  to  he  rector  in  October  of  that  year.  He 
served  during  the  First  World  War  and  until  the  fall  of  L923.  His 
efforts  resulted  in  the  purchase  of  the  "Church  House'  at  5  Talcott 
Avenue.  This  is  not  a  Parish  House,  hut  a  two-family  dwelling 
which  is  rented  and  supposed  to  be  a  source  of  revenue  for  tli<- 

The  next  rector  was  the  Rev.  Henry  B.  Olmstead,  who  came 
to  St.  John's  in  March,  1924,  and  retired  in  1950. 

In  twenty-four  years  many  things  have  been  accomplished. 
A  continuous  procession  of  memorials  has  greatly  enriched  the 
appearance  of  the  church,  so  that  the  little  temple  on  the  hill  is 
generally  pronounced  "Very  pretty."  A  very  useful  addition  was 
made  in  the  summer  of  1925  on  the  occasion  of  the  Fiftieth  Anni- 
versary of  the  building  of  the  church.  The  Church  and  Rectory 
were  connected  by  a  structure  which  comprises  a  kitchen  in  the 
basement  with  a  choir  room  above. 

This  historical  sketch  is  chiefly  that  of  a  procession  of  rectors. 
They  came  and  went,  usually  after  a  very  short  stay,  but  the  per- 
manent work,  the  real  building  was  done  by  the  lay  people,  so 
many  that  they  cannot  be  mentioned  here.  The  long  and  useful 
rectorship  of  Rev.  Henry  B.  Olmstead,  of  twenty-five  years,  in- 
cludes a  long  list  of  prominent  men  and  women  which  it  would  be 
unfair  to  publish  because  manv  others  would  be  omitted.  Here  is 
the  list  of  officers  in  1924  when  Mr.  Olmstead  arrived,  and  the 
officers  of  this  year. 

In  1924  the  Senior  Warden  was  Sherwood  C.  Cummings,  the 
Junior  Warden,  George  W.  Randall.  The  Vestrvmen  included. 
Joseph  Prichard,  Frederick  Elliott,  R.  Earl  Elliott,  Albert  H.  Hew- 
itt, Joseph  Moss,  Joseph  Grist,  Alfred  Hobro,  Joseph  Brierly, 
Charles  Underwood,  Enoch  Austin  and  Walter  J.  Kent.  The  offi- 
cers at  the  present  writing  are:  Senior  Warden,  William  Kuhnly; 
junior  Warden,  Roland  Wise;  Treasurer,  Robert  Nutland;  Parish 
Clerk,  William  Nutland.  The  Vestrymen  are:  Albert  H.  Hewitt. 
R.  Earl  Elliott,  Dr.  Dousflas  Roberts,  Werner  Greunig,  Russell 

At  the  retirement  of  the  Rev.  Henry  B.  Olmstead,  the  Rev. 
Maurice  G.  Foulkes  became  the  rector,  taking  up  his  official  duties 
in  July  of  1951.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Olmstead  passed  away  within  a 
few  days  of  each  other  in  March  of  1952. 


The  Apostolic  Christian  Church,  now  located  in  Ellington  on 
Butcher  Road,  but  originally  built  on  Orchard  Street,  has  the  dis- 
tinction of  being  the  only  one  of  that  denomination  in  the  New 
England  States. 

Discontented  young  farmers  of  Switzerland  and  Sweden  began 
pouring  into  the  States  about  the  year  1860.  The  Homestead  Act 
of  1862,  whereby  land  was  given  free,  proved  a  fresh  stimulation 
to  underpaid  farm  workers  of  those  countries,  and  the  peak  of 
immigration  was  reached  in  1882,  when  64,607  persons  came  to  the 
Promised  Land. 

The  record  of  the  citizens  of  Swiss  ancestry  is  a  highly  hon- 
orable one.  Among  their  admirable  qualities  are  a  keen  sense  of 
responsibility,  pride  in  their  work,  caution,  patience,  and  deep- 
rooted  respect  for  law  and  order.     They  are  gifted  and  reliable. 

Between  1890  and  1900  a  small  group  of  Swiss  farmers  came 
to  Rockville.  For  a  time  they  held  religious  meetings  in  houses. 
In  the  year  1891  twenty-five  members  built  a  small  church  on 
Thomas  Street,  No.  58.  Their  numbers  grew  to  one  hundred.  The 
walk  to  Fox  Hill  for  worship  was  difficult,  and  Alfred  Schneider's 
father  deeded  land  on  Orchard  Street  to  the  members  in  1899. 

In  the  diary  of  John  Newton  there  is  a  paragraph  dated  Tues- 
day, May  2,  1899,  which  reads  "Contracted  with  the  Apostolic 
Christian  Church  to  buy  35,000  brick  at  $4.25  for  labor." 

The  church  stood  until  April,  1908,  when  an  incendiary  fire 
destroyed  the  building.  The  new  building  was  erected  immediately 
of  stone  and  brick,  with  a  superstructure  of  wood,  and  a  com- 
modious basement.  Until  1925  all  services  were  in  German,  from 
1925  to  1940  German  and  English,  and  now  English  onlv.  The 
membership  has  grown  to  235,  with  a  Sunday  School  of  125.  John 
Bahler,  an  ordained  elder  elected  by  the  congregation,  and  a  coun- 
cil of  elders  have  charge  of  all  church  matters. 

And  now  in  1954  a  new  church  is  nearly  completed  on  Butcher 
Road.  It  is  commodious  and  magnificent.  The  cost  is  $200,000, 
and  so  wonderful  is  the  loyalty  of  members  and  friends  that  the 
noble  sum  of  $179,000  has  been  pledged. 

The  trustees  of  the  church  are  John  Zahner,  Fred  Luginbuhl, 
John  Moser,  Jr.;  Treasurer,  William  Schneider;  Elder,  John  Bahler. 



A  large  group  of  Polish  people  employed  in  woolen,  worsted 
and  silk  factories  in  the  city  established  their  own  church  under 
the  name  of  St.  Joseph's  Church,  also  a  rectory,  school,  convent, 
and  sexton's  house. 

They  came  from  all  parts  of  Poland  more  than  a  hundred 
years  ago,  1850,  family  after  family,  and  their  aim  was  eventually 
to  establish  their  own  parish  and  to  carry  forward  the  faith  of 
their  fathers.  There  were  finally  about  300  families  living  in  the 

The  first  step  was  the  organization  of  the  St.  Joseph's  Society, 
which  planned  the  work  of  starting  a  parish.  There  were  many 
difficulties  in  the  way,  but  the  Rev.  L.  Bonjnowski,  of  New  Britain, 
assisted  in  guiding  the  undertaking,  also  Rev.  St.  Lozowski,  of 
Hartford.  The  people  bought  land  at  the  corner  of  Union  and 
West  Streets  and  a  temporary  church  was  built  in  readiness  for 
the  first  pastor,  Rev.  Carol  Wotypka,  from  New  Britain,  who  was 
appointed  by  the  Rt.  Rev.  Bishop  Tierney,  then  Bishop  of  the  Hart- 
ford diocese. 

Rev.  Carol  Wotypka  at  once  started  work  with  the  aid  of  his 
congregation  in  building  the  new  church,  which  still  stands  on 
Union  and  West  Streets.  He  adopted  a  novel  plan  for  raising 
money  for  the  church.  He  called  upon  his  parishioners  to  coop- 
erate with  him  in  defraying  the  expenses  connected  with  the  build- 
ing of  the  church.  They  responded  unselfishly,  and  noblv  set  aside 
two  days'  pav  each  month  for  the  first  six  months  and  then  one 
day's  pay  each  month  for  a  year.  About  $7,000  was  soon  paid  on 
the  church.  There  are  about  900  Polish  people  in  the  citv.  Rev. 
Wotypka  worked  arduously  for  three  years  until  his  health  failed. 

The  church  was  dedicated  on  Sunday,  October  29,  1905. 
Bishop  Tierney  officiated  at  the  services  and  complimented  the 
members  on  their  fine  spirit.  The  sermon  was  delivered  bv  Rev. 
W.  A.  Becker,  of  Bridgeport,  in  Polish.  A  choir  of  twenty  voices 
sang  Gounod's  Mass  in  C  in  a  very  creditable  manner.  Rev. 
Kruszynski,  of  Bridgeport,  delivered  the  sermon  at  the  Vesper 

The  building  is  of  Gothic  style  of  architecture,  and  is  built  of 
wood.  The  bell  in  the  tower  was  given  bv  the  Sprin^ville  Manu- 
facturing: Company.  The  Society  of  St.  Joseph's,  composed  of 
men  of  the  parish,  donated  $565  out  of  their  treasury  for  the  new 







marble  altar,  and  the  statue  of  St.  Joseph,  facing  on  Union  Street. 

Following  the  Rev.  Carol  Wotypka  was  the  Rev.  Joseph  Cul- 
kowski,  appointed  by  the  Bishop  of  Hartford.  He  worked  hard  for 
the  people,  but  poor  health  made  it  necessary  for  him  to  give  up 
his  work. 

The  church  then  received  Rev.  Max  Soltysek,  who  was  ap- 
pointed pastor.  He  labored  untiringly  for  eight  years.  On  his 
arrival  he  interested  his  congregation  in  the  great  need  of  a  parish 
school.  It  was  possible  through  his  efforts  to  add  to  St.  Joseph's 
Church  the  parish  school,  which  is  now  used  daily  by  the  school 
children.  Rev.  Max  Soltysek  was  transferred  by  the  Bishop  to  St. 
Mary's  Polish  Church  in  Middletown,  Connecticut. 

Rev.  Leo  Wierzynski  served  as  pastor  for  a  short  time,  work- 
ing with  his  people  for  not  quite  a  year.  He  then  went  to  Poland, 
where  he  died. 

The  fifth  pastor  of  the  church  came  from  St.  Joseph's  Church, 
Suffield,  Rev.  Francis  Wladasz.  The  kind  ways  and  deeds  of 
Father  Wladasz  are  still  fresh  in  the  memories  of  many  of  his  con- 
gregation to  this  day.  During  his  four  years  he  made  many  im- 
provements to  the  church  property,  and  purchased  adjoining  prop- 
erty, including  the  sexton's  house. 

Then  Rev.  Stephen  Bartkowski  came  to  take  up  his  duties. 
During  his  six  years  he  built  the  rectory,  practically  paying  for  it 
at  the  time  it  was  built,  as  well  as  paying  on  the  large  debt  on  the 

Rev.  Sigismud  Woroniecki  came  in  November,  1927,  from 
Southington,  and  died  here  in  1949,  after  twenty-two  years  of 
faithful  service.  He  made  improvements  in  the  church  property, 
including  redecorations.  The  debt  was  paid,  St.  Joseph's  Band 
was  organized,  and  eight  societies  are  doing  good  work. 

Rev.  Hvacinth  A.  Lepak,  educated  at  Hartford  High  School. 
St.  Thomas  Seminary,  and  the  University  of  Fribourg,  Switzerland, 
was  appointed  pastor  of  St.  Joseph's  November  6.  1949.  He  was 
ordained  into  the  priesthood  in  the  year  1931  in  Fribourg,  Switzer- 

His  principal  aim  upon  arrival  in  Rockville  was  to  reorganize 
and  revitalize  the  parish,  with  the  intention  of  building  a  new 
church  to  seat  at  least  700.  Plans  are  in  preparation  to  carry  out 
that  purpose. 

St.  Joseph's  Church  has  a  membership  of  approximately  1650. 
and  the  school,  taught  by  Sisters  of  the  Felician  Order,  consists  of 
300  children. 


Rev.  Napoleon  Hall  started  a  mission  among  the  colored  peo- 
ple of  Rockville  and  vicinity  in  the  year  1917.  For  several  months 
they  held  prayer  meetings  in  homes,  and  organized  in  the  spring 
of  1918  at  the  home  of  Mr.  McKnight  on  Fox  Hill.  Later  on,  the 
Rockville  Baptist  Church  opened  its  doors  to  them  and  they  met 
in  the  vestry  on  Sunday  evenings  at  7:30. 

There  were  ninety-eight  colored  people  in  Rockville  in  1920, 
and,  assisted  by  the  Baptist  Convention,  they  dedicated  a  Meeting 
House  at  6  Davis  Avenue,  on  January  9,  1921.  Rev.  Napoleon 
Hall  was  in  charge  of  the  services,  and  Rev.  Dr.  A.  B.  Coates,  of 
Hartford,  delivered  the  sermon.  The  church  was  a  double  house, 
one  side  of  it  being  used  by  the  pastor  for  a  residence,  and  the 
other  rooms  for  worship. 

In  1926  the  Baptist  Convention  could  no  longer  support  the 
church.  The  property  was  sold,  and  the  few  members  became 
utterly  discouraged. 



In  1913,  the  possibility  of  some  day  having  its  own  place  of 
worship  was  just  a  remote  dream  in  the  minds  of  the  tiny  Jewish 
population  of  Rockville.  In  the  summer  of  that  year,  the  com- 
munity purchased  its  first  Sefer  Torah.  During  the  Simchas  Torah 
celebration  of  that  event,  a  newly  married  girl  named  Mrs.  Fanny 
Giber,  noting  how  many  ladies  there  were  in  town  who  seemed 
to  be  interested,  thought  that  they  ought  to  do  something  about 
organizing  a  club  or  group  to  knit  the  community  together  more 
closely.  So  in  December,  1913,  a  group  of  13  women  met  at  the 
Giber  home  and  formed  an  organization  to  be  known  as  The  Rock- 


ville  Hebrew  Ladies'  Society.     The  charter  members  were: 

Mrs.  Giber,  President 
Mrs.  Brown,  Vice-President 
Mrs.  Spector,  Secretary 
Mrs.  Winer,  Treasurer 

and  the  Misses  Gordon,  Block,  Blonstein,  Goldberg,  Ginsburg,  Fill- 
man,  Lebeshevsky,  Vishovsky,  Kelman,  Klatz,  and  Goldman. 

The  purpose  of  the  Society  was  mainly  charitable  and  to 
maintain  the  Jewish  way  of  life  in  the  community.  Worship  in 
those  days  was  held  at  the  Giber  home  where  the  Sefer  Torah  was 
kept,  except  for  the  high  holidays  when  a  hall  was  hired  for  the 
occasion.  From  1924  through  1931,  the  Jewish  community  rented 
space  sometimes  in  the  Masonic  Hall,  and  at  other  times  in  the 
Hartford-Connecticut  Trust  building. 

The  meetings  of  the  ladies  took  place  at  the  homes  of  the  va- 
rious members.  Dues  were  paid  and  any  money  collected  was  used 
for  charity.  For  some  time  there  were  meetings  twice  a  month, 
once  for  social  purposes  and  once  for  business.  All  this  time, 
little  by  little,  money  was  being  saved  toward  the  hope  of  buying 
a  "shul." 

The  earliest  complete  records  of  the  B'nai  Israel  Sisterhood 
date  back  to  November,  1930.  The  previous  records  were  de- 
stroyed in  the  fire  in  the  early  part  of  1930.  In  those  days  it  was 
not  the  Sisterhood  B'nai  Israel  but  the  Rockville  Hebrew  Ladies' 

At  last,  in  1931,  a  building  which  is  now  the  Red  Men's  Hall, 
on  East  Main  Street,  was  purchased  from  the  Rockville  Athletic 




Association.  To  be  sure,  it  was  dilapidated,  it  needed  a  coat  of 
paint,  the  interior  was  in  great  disrepair,  but  it  represented  the 
realization  of  a  long  desired  wish — a  place  of  worship  and  a  place 
for  the  community  to  hold  its  social  affairs.  It  was  used  as  a 
Synagogue,  School  and  Community  Center,  through  the  end  of 
1945.  At  this  time,  "Sunset  Castle,"  the  magnificent  Belding  prop- 
erty on  Talcott  Avenue  was  purchased,  and  the  previous  building 
sold  to  the  Red  Men.     The  Rabbi  is  Aaron  Twersky. 

At  the  time  of  the  first  meeting  in  the  new  building  there 
were  22  members.  It  was  then  voted  to  change  the  name  of  the 
organization  from  the  Rockville  Hebrew  Ladies'  Association  to  the 
Sisterhood  of  the  Congregation  B'nai  Israel,  and  the  purpose  of  the 
Sisterhood  was  to  be  primarily  to  work  for  the  school. 



The  first  Talcottville  House  of  Worship  was  commenced  April 
9,  1866,  and  completed  March  12,  1867.  The  commodious  and 
beautiful  sanctuary  was  built  and  furnished  throughout,  including 
the  lecture  room,  by  the  brothers  Horace  Wells  and  Charles  Deni- 
son  Talcott,  entirely  at  their  expense,  and  the  use  of  it  presented 
to  the  Congregational  Church  in  Talcottville,  "so  long  as  said  church 
shall  sustain  the  preaching  of  the  gospel  and  other  connected  means 
of  grace,  according  to  the  Faith  and  Order  of  the  Fathers." 

The  first  prayer  meeting  in  the  lecture  room  was  held  Satur- 
day evening,  December  1,  1866.  In  this  room  public  worship  on 
the  Sabbath,  by  those  intending  to  be  organized  into  a  church  and 
ecclesiastical  society,  was  held  for  the  first  time  December  2,  1866, 
when  the  venerable  Rev.  Joel  Hawes,  D.D.,  of  Hartford,  officiated 
with  great  appropriateness  and  power.  After  this,  public  worship 
was  regularly  held  on  the  Sabbath  in  the  lecture  room  until  March 
13,  1867,  when  41  members  were  dismissed  from  Vernon  in  form- 
ing Talcottville  Church,  the  House  of  the  Lord  dedicated,  and 
Rev.  George  A.  Oviatt  installed  as  pastor  according  to  Congrega- 
tional usage. 

The  number  comprising  the  church  at  its  organization  was 
seventy-four,  sixty-four  by  letters  from  other  churches  and  ten  by 
public  confession  of  faith.  Within  a  year  and  a  half,  there  were 
added  eighty-four;  thirty-nine  by  letter  and  forty-five  by  con- 

The  regular  meetings  of  the  church,  aside  from  those  of  pub- 
lic worship  on  the  Lord's  Day,  were  held  on  the  Sabbath,  Thurs- 
day and  Saturday  evenings. 

The  Sabbath  School  was  organized  December  2,  1866,  with 
sixty-four  teachers  and  scholars  and  deacon  Horace  W.  Talcott  as 
superintendent.  Deacon  Talcott  held  this  position  until  he  died  in 
1871,  at  which  time  he  was  succeeded  by  Deacon  C.  Denison  Tal- 
cott. Following  the  latter's  death  in  1882  Deacon  H.  G.  Talcott 
was  chosen  as  superintendent  and  he  served  until  his  death  in 
1917,  after  which  John  G.  Talcott  was  chosen.  For  many  years 
the  latter  continued  in  office  although  not  able  to  serve.  However, 
he  was  ably  assisted  by  associate  superintendents:  Miss  Stanwood, 
Franklin  G.  Welles,  and  John  G.  Talcott,  Jr.  M.  H.  Talcott  also 
acted  as  treasurer  for  many  years. 



The  early  pastors  of  the  Talcottville  Church  were  Rev.  George 
A.  Oviatt,  Rev.  John  P.  Hawley,  Rev.  Theodore  L.  Day,  Rev.  George 
H.  Pratt,  Rev.  Jonathan  Wadhams,  Rev.  Foster  R.  Waite,  Rev. 
David  L.  Yale. 

It  was  during  Rev.  Yale's  pastorate  that  the  burning  of  the 
church  occurred  on  October  30,  1906.  That  very  evening  he  had 
been  using  his  large  telescope  near  the  church,  allowing  his  friends 
to  gaze  at  the  wonders  of  the  sky.  Instead  of  taking  it  home  as 
was  his  custom,  he  left  it  in  the  church,  and  in  the  morning  it  was 
completely  destroyed.  A  bucket  brigade  was  formed  by  the  citi- 
zens of  the  town,  but  all  efforts  were  in  vain.  Many  records  were 
lost  in  the  fire,  too.  The  offices  of  Talcott  Brothers,  woolen  manu- 
facturers, were  in  the  lower  part  of  the  church  building  and  these 
were  burned  out  or  buried  under  the  debris  of  the  falling  walls. 

Services  were  held  in  the  schoolhouse  the  Sunday  after  the 
fire  and  continued  there  until  the  hall  over  the  store  was  made 
into  a  chapel,  where  services  were  continued  for  some  time. 

The  cornerstone  of  the  new  church  was  laid  on  Sunday  after- 
noon, June  30,  1912,  by  Deacon  H.  G.  Talcott.  The  first  public 
services  were  held  May  4,  1913,  and  on  June  24,  1913,  was  held 
the  Dedication  of  the  House  of  Worship  and  the  installation  of  the 
pastor,  Rev.  Francis  P.  Bachelor,  Rev.  David  L.  Yale  having  re- 

June  24,  1913 

Organ  Prelude — Adagio,  Fifth  Sonata 

Anthem,  "Hark,  hark  my  soul" 

Invocation — Rev.  Charles  W.  Burt,  of  Bolton 

Reading  of  Records  of  Council — Scribe 

Scripture  Lesson — Rev.  D.  E.  Jones,  of  Ellington 

Sermon — Rev.  W.  Douglas  MacKenzie,  D.D.,  LL.D. 

The  first  funeral  in  the  new  church  was  held  on  June  30,  1913, 
when  L.  Pitkin  Talcott  passed  away.  The  pastors  following  Rev. 
Francis  P.  Bachelor  were  Rev.  George  W.  Stephenson,  Rev.  Thomas 
Street,  Rev.  Ernest  Gordon,  Rev.  James  A.  Bull  and  Rev.  Everett 
A.  Murphy. 

Talcottville  Church  has  always  been  interested  in  missionary 
work.  In  September  of  1866,  six  months  before  the  first  church 
service,  a  loyal  group  of  45  women  and  18  men  organized  the 
Home  Missionary  Society. 


At  the  100th  Anniversary  Celebration  at  the  First  Meeting 
House  of  Vernon,  September  26,  1926,  Miss  Aliee  F.  Dexter,  repre- 
senting Talcottville  Church,  spoke  of  transportation  difficulties  in 
the  early  days: 

"In  a  far  corner  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  was  a  small 
group  of  houses  collected  around  a  manufacturing  plant 
forming  a  village  just  too  far  for  all  to  get  to  church  and 
to  the  weekly  prayer  meetings,  so  accommodations  were 
made  to  help  those  who  so  desired  to  attend  the  church 
services.  Early  on  Sunday  mornings  someone  went  from 
house  to  house  to  find  out  who  wanted  to  go  to  church, 
a  four-seated  omnibus  holding  12,  also  smaller  wagons, 
were  provided,  and  those  who  could  not  ride  walked." 

"Because  of  the  distance  Mr.  N.  O.  Kellogg  opened 
his  mill  office  for  Saturday  evening  prayer  meetings.  The 
choir  was  largely  composed  of  volunteers  filling  several 
rows  of  seats." 

At  the  75th  Anniversary  of  the  Talcottville  Church  on  Friday, 
March  13,  1942,  John  G.  Talcott  expressed  his  appreciation  to  the 
church  members  for  installing  a  loud  speaker  in  his  home,  whereby 
he  could  enjoy  all  the  church  services  when  not  able  to  leave  his 
home.  A  microphone  had  been  installed  over  the  pulpit.  Mr. 
John  G.  Talcott  passed  away  November  2,  1944,  but  the  memory 
of  his  noble  character  will  be  cherished  for  ever. 


He  brief  career  of  the  Salvation  Armv  in  Rockville  has  been 

a  peculiar  mixture  of  jov  and  sorrow.     In  the  vear  1886  its   en- 

;:astic  members  packed  the  Rockville  Hall  and  Opera  House  at 

manv  meetings.     The  city  became  one  of  the  most  important  posts 

:  the  Army  in  the  State  of  Connecticut. 

On  Saturdav.  Januarv  29.  1887,  a  Salvation  Armv  Temple  was 
dedicated.  It  was  a  wooden  building,  erected  on  land  now  occu- 
pied bv  the  Rockville  Grain  and  Coal  Companv.  Rrooklvn  Street. 
The  temple  had  no  architectural  charm,  but  the  interior  was  bright 
and  cheery.  Manv  Bible  texts  adorned  the  walls,  and  over  the 
platform  hung  the  framed  picture  of  General  Booth. 

The  festive  occasion  began  with  a  banquet  at  the  Rockville 
Rail  an  the  29th  from  five  to  eight  o'clock.  The  dedication  exer- 
cises followed.  Captain  Edwin  Gay,  D.O..  gave  the  address. 
There  was  much  band  music.  The  temple  was  presented  to  the 
Corps  in  charge  of  Captain  Terrv  and  wife  and  his  successors, 
to  be  used  as  "a  free  house  of  praver.  to  which  evervbodv  would 




be  welcomed,  and  there  would  be  no  pew  rents."  It  is  said  that 
this  was  the  first  Salvation  Army  Temple  erected  in  Connecticut. 

George  Washington,  the  colored  hero  of  Danbury,  a  happy, 
rollicking  young  man,  fairly  bubbling  over  with  joy,  spoke  with  great 
fervor.  He  told  the  large  audience  the  devil  had  had  him  for 
thirty-five  years,  but  now  he  was  a  witness  for  God.  He  accepted 
the  Baptist  faith,  but  he  loved  the  Salvation  Army.  The  celebra- 
tion continued  through   Sunday   and   Monday. 

The  evangelistic  work  of  the  Army  was  supported  locally  by 
many  good  citizens,  but  there  were  some  who  were  offended  by 
their  open  air  meetings,  and  the  tinkling  of  the  Salvation  Army  bell 
on  the  sidewalk  attracted  an  organized  gang  of  hoodlums  deter- 
mined to  drive  the  "warriors"  away. 

Several  times  they  were  ordered  to  move  away  from  the 
Doane  Block  where  they  held  their  open  air  meetings,  as  tenants 
in  the  block  complained  that  the  crowd  interfered  with  business. 
The  question  of  permitting  the  Salvation  Army  to  parade  the  streets 
with  music  was  discussed  at  meetings  of  the  City  Council  in  1892, 
and  the  evangelists  became  too  discouraged  to  continue  their  work 
in  Rockville. 

Let  it  be  said  that  the  citizens  respond  nobly  to  the  annual 
solicitation  of  the  Salvation  Army  under  local  sponsorship. 

From  the  "War-Cry,"  comes  an  item  of  local  interest: 

The  Rev.  Edward  Payson  Hammond  lived  at  Vernon  Center 
in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century.  He  was  an  independent 
evangelist,  carrying  his  message  to  many  colleges  and  communities 
in  America.  He  traveled  to  England,  and  there  had  friendlv  as- 
sociation with  William  Booth,  who  later  became  the  founder  of 
the  Salvation  Army.  Because  of  the  counsel  he  gave  Booth  at  a 
time  when  William  was  the  pastor  of  a  Methodist  Church,  and 
was  inclined  to  leave  that  denomination  for  the  Salvation  Army 
work,  he  liked  to  be  acknowledged  as  "the  Grandfather  of  the  Sal- 
vation Army." 

Rev.  Edward  Payson  Hammond,  M.A.,  was  the  author  of 
"The  Conversion  of  Children,"  "Children  and  Jesus,"  "Sketches  of 
Palestine,"  "Better  Life,"  "Jesus  the  Lamb  of  God,"  "Gathered 
Lambs,"  "Golden  Gleanings,"  "Jesus  and  the  Little  Ones,"  "The 
Child's  Guide  to  Heaven,"  "The  Blood  of  Jesus,"  from  1872  to  1882. 

He  conducted  revival  services  at  home  and  abroad:  England. 
Scotland,  Wales,  in  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  Oraneeburv,  Co- 
lumbia, Montreal.  Biddle  University  at  Charlotte,  North  Carolina, 
Washington,  D.  C,  and  visited  the  Holy  Land. 


As  a  result  of  interest  aroused  through  the  healing  in  Chris- 
tian Science  of  Mr.  Orrin  C.  West  of  Rockville,  of  rheumatism  and 
extreme  profanity,  a  small  group  of  students  of  Christian  Science 
met  at  the  home  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Carlos  Doane  during  the  sum- 
mer of  1907.  Mrs.  Doane  had  been  healed  of  grief  and  a  nervous 
condition  brought  about  by  the  passing  of  her  daughter.  Mr. 
William  Hibbard,  brother  of  Mrs.  Doane,  attended  some  of  these 
services  which  started  his  interest  in  Christian  Science  and  resulted 
in  his  healing  in  1908  from  a  serious  nervous  breakdown.  Ten  or 
twelve  attended  the  services,  two  or  three  coming  from  Manches- 
ter, Connecticut,  others  from  Rockville,  and  a  Mrs.  Felts  of  Hart- 
ford gave  much  encouragement. 

The  first  business  meeting  was  held  at  the  home  of  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Doane  on  December  11,   1907,  for  the  purpose  of  hiring  a 




hall  for  the  Sunday  morning  services.  Forester's  Hall  was  rented 
from  the  date  of  December  29,  1907,  to  July,  1909,  when  Masonic 
Hall  was  procured.  Services  were  held  there  from  that  date,  with 
the  exception  of  a  short  time  when  these  students  went  through  a 
period  of  deep  waters.  Miss  Ida  Martin,  a  consecrated  and  faith- 
ful worker,  passed  on  while  First  Reader.  The  financial  conditions 
were  such  that  Masonic  Hall  was  vacated  and  meetings  were  held 
at  various  places.  No  record  was  kept  from  June  22,  1911,  to 
October  19,  1913. 

A  meeting  was  held  December  14,  1913,  in  Masonic  Hall.  It 
was  voted  to  form  a  Society  and  insert  an  announcement  in  the 
Christian  Science  Journal.  In  the  early  part  of  1914  the  Society  was 
formed  according  to  the  Manual  of  The  Mother  Church  by  Maiy 
Baker  Eddy.    The  exact  date  is  not  recorded. 

It  was  voted  August  5,  1917,  to  have  a  Wednesday  evening 
meeting  once  a  month  for  testimonies  of  healing.  The  first  of  these 
meetings  was  held  on  September  12,  1917,  and  these  meetings 
continued  once  a  month  until  September,  1930,  when  it  was  de- 
cided to  have  them  every  Wednesday.  A  Sunday  School  was 
started  July  13,  1930.  The  first  Christian  Science  lecture  was  given 
May  15,  1932. 

The  growth  of  this  Society  has  been  slow  but  sturdy.  The 
interest  in  Christian  Science  in  Rockville  is  increasing  and  there  is 
more  growth  in  the  Society  now  than  at  any  time  in  its  history. 

It  was  voted  July  14,  1941,  to  purchase  the  attractive  Charter 
property  at  94  Union  Street,  Rockville,  for  a  Church  home. 

The  first  service  in  this  new  Church  home  was  held  on  Thanks- 
giving Day,  November  20,  1941.  It  was  a  joyful  occasion.  Many 
visitors  from  surrounding  towns  were  present,  and  many  testi- 
monials of  gratitude  were  given. 

No  Christian  Science  Church  is  dedicated  until  it  is  free  from 
debt.  The  working  out  of  the  financial  problem  was  a  beautiful 
demonstration.  It  was  a  happy  occasion  when  this  Church  was 
dedicated  free  from  debt  on  June  28,  1942,  with  three  services. 
The  First  Reader  in  his  dedication  message  gave  the  history  of 
the  Church  and  expressed  much  gratitude  to  God  for  His  good- 

The  organization  of  Christian  Science  consists  of  The  Mother 
Church,  The  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  in  Boston,  Massa- 
chusetts, and  its  branches.    Some  of  the  branches  are  churches  and 


others  Societies.     The  Bible  and  the  Christian  Science  text  book 
are  the  only  preachers. 

When  a  Society  can  qualify,  according  to  the  Manual  of  The 
Mother  Church,  written  by  Mary  Baker  Eddy,  it  may  become  a 
Church.  The  local  Society  was  dissolved  and  all  of  its  property 
was  transferred  to  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  Rockville,  Con- 
necticut, February  18,  1946.  Christian  Science  Society,  Rockville, 
Connecticut,  became  an  incorporated  church  June  10,  1946. 


Eighty-five  years  ago  a  meeting  was  held  in  the  lecture  room 
of  the  First  Congregational  Church  of  Rockville  to  organize  a 
local  Young  Men's  Christian  Association.  The  date — Wednesday 
evening,  July  14,  1869.  Alonzo  Bailey  was  president,  and  E.  C. 
Chapman  acted  as  secretary.  Prayer  was  offered  by  Mr.  Frink. 
A  copy  of  the  constitution  of  the  Hartford  Y.M.C.A.  was  read,  and 
Mr.  Kellogg,  Jr.,  moved  that  this  organization  be  made  a  Young 
People's  Association  instead  of  a  Young  Men's  Christian  Associa- 
tion.   The  resolution  was  accepted,  and  a  constitution  adopted. 

The  Association  flourished  for  a  number  of  years  and  then 
declined.  Thirty  years  later,  the  Rockville  Journal  of  Friday,  Sep- 
tember 22,   1899,  stated: 

"A  meeting  was  held  in  the  old  Boys'  Club  building 
in  the  rear  of  the  Methodist  Church  for  the  purpose  of 
organizing  a  Young  Men's  Christian  Association.  There 
was  quite  a  number  of  young  men  present.  A  Constitu- 
tion was  adopted.  The  object  of  the  organization  is  the 
physical,  mental,  and  spiritual  development  of  the  young 
men.  The  large  room  is  to  be  fitted  up  as  a  gymnasium, 
the  small  room  to  be  used  as  a  reading  room  and  library." 
That   flourished   for   a   number   of   years   and    then    declined. 

And  in  spite  of  many  conscientious  efforts  to  revive  and  sustain  a 
Y.M.C.A.  the  worthy  organization  is  now  inactive. 


A  decade  ago  the  religious  order,  Jehovah's  Witnesses,  ap- 
proved by  the  Watchtower  Society,  was  organized  in  Rockville, 
and  Kingdom  Hall  was  established  at  22  Ward  Street.  Ten  Wit- 
nesses met  for  Bible  study  weekly.     Because  of  a  growing  number 


of  adherents,  the  congregation  moved  to  more  commodious  rooms 
at  41  Orchard  Street  in  May,  1950. 

Their  activities  include  a  Bible  discourse  every  Sunday  at  3 
P.M.;  at  4:15  a  study  of  The  Watchtower  Magazine;  at  7  P.M.  on 
Wednesday  instruction  is  given  for  house  to  house  preaching;  at 
8  P.M.  on  Friday  further  study  of  the  Bible. 


In  the  year  1896,  Unitarians  met  in  Mechanics  Hall  and  or- 
ganized, but  did  not  long  continue  their  worship  services. 


Spiritualist  meetings  were  held  in  the  Tolland  woods  in  1857, 
and  a  four-horse  wagon  load  of  believers  attended  regularly  from 


A  religious  census  of  the  town  of  Vernon,  undertaken  by  the 
Connecticut  Bible  Society  in  1921,  revealed  church  affiliation  as 
follows : 

Methodist  534 

Christian  Science  16 

Catholic  3676 

Apostolic  124 

Socialist  12 
No  preference            147 

In  the  same  census  were  listed  27  nationalities,  among  them: 

American  3068 

English  234 

German  1390 

Polish  1532 

Italian  179 

A  religious  census  was  also  taken  in  the  City  of  Rockville  in 
1955,  and  revealed  the  following: 

Protestants  6077 

Roman  Catholic      5812 
Jewish  315 













Title  Page 

The  Elementary  Schools  of  Vernon 211 

The  High  School  in  Vernon  215 

The  Franklin  Lyceum   218 

The  Development  of  Education  in  Rockville   219 

Northeast  District  School 229 

The  High  School  Committee  237 

The  George  Sykes  Manual  Training  School 241 

High  School  Graduates,  Principals  and  Superintendents 247 

The  West  District  School  249 

The  Maple  Street  Schools  251 

Annual  Awards    252 

Dedicatory  Exercises  of  the  Vernon  Elementary  School 254 

Interesting  Records  of  Vernon  Town  Committee 255 

The  Rockville  Public  Library    268 


Title  Page 

First  Brick  School 222 

East  School 226 

Northeast  District  School,  Hale  Street  228 

Talcottville  School    233 

Old  High  School .235 

Sykes  Manual  Training  School  . 241 

West  District  School 248 

Maple  Street  New  School 251 

Vernon  Elementary  School 255 

New  Northeast  District  Elementary  School   267 

Rockville  Public  Library  268 




Religion  and  education  went  hand  in  hand.  As  soon  as  set- 
tlements were  made,  first  the  meeting  house  was  erected,  and  al- 
most simultaneously  action  was  taken  toward  the  erection  of  a 
schoolhouse.  A  School  Society  was  established,  a  self-appointed 
representative  committee  of  the  parish  interested  in  school  matters. 
The  earliest  schoolhouses  were  built  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
town — Vernon  Center,  Dobsonville,  Phoenixville  and  Valley  Falls. 
At  a  town  meeting  at  Vernon  Center  on  November  28,  1793,  with 
Mr.  Caleb  Talcott  as  Moderator  and  Lemuel  King  as  Clerk,  it  was 
voted  to  build  a  schoolhouse.  Other  interesting  and  important  ac- 
tions of  that  first  meeting  and  later  ones  as  reported  in  an  old 
Record  Book  of  North  Bolton  in  the  possession  of  the  Selectmen's 

Voted  to  set  the  schoolhouse  between  Mr.  John's  and  the  hill 
east  of  there  on  the  north  side  of  that  highway.  (There  is  reason 
to  believe  the  site  was  opposite  the  dwelling  house  of  Mr.  Henry 
Marcham,  which  was  built  in  1762  and  still  stands  on  the  south- 
side  of  the  highway.) 

Chose  Mr.  Ira  West  and  Hezekiah  Loomis  as  committee  to 
hire  a  person  or  persons  to  build  said  schoolhouse. 

Voted  to  pay  for  building  schoolhouse  by  making  a  tax  on  the 
list  August  20,  1793. 

Voted  that  the  Person  or  Persons  that  should  agree  with  said 
Committee  to  build  the  house  engage  to  have  it  finished  by  the 
first  day  of  November  next,  and  should  bind  themselves  to  do  it 
off  as  well  as  the  house  of  M.  Pearl.  (The  Pearls'  property  stood 
a  little  west  of  Marchams'.) 

Voted  to  pay  said  person  or  persons  in  money  by  the  first 
November  next. 

Voted  that  said  house  be  twenty  feet  long  and  seventeen  feet 

A  year  later,  November  4,  1794,  at  a  school  meeting  holden  at 
the  schoolhouse,  it  was  voted  to  accept  the  schoolhouse  according 
to  agreement;  Mr.  Eli  Hammond,  the  school  committee,  was  in- 
structed to  hire  a  Master  and  set  up  a  schoolroom.  It  was  voted 
that  the  price  for  three  feet  wood  be  five  shillings,  and  that  each 



member  of  the  District  have  liberty  to  fetch  his  proportion  of  wood 
for  the  scholars  he  sends. 

Protecting  the  Property: 

It  was  voted  on  October  22,  1795,  that  there  be  a  fine  of  50 
cents  for  a  square  of  glass  that  is  broken  in  either  of  the  windows 
in  the  schoolhouse.  If  not  replaced  within  the  ten  days  after  it 
was  broken  by  their  parents,  guardians  or  masters,  and  if  the  said 
parents,  guardians  or  masters  should  refuse  to  do  the  same,  the 
committee  is  impowered  to  collect  the  same  of  the  delinquent  and 
his  cost. 

Money  for  winter  and  summer  schools: 

Mr.  Leonard  Rogers  was  the  school  committee  in  1796,  and 
it  was  voted  that  he  hire  a  master  and  set  up  a  school  by  the  first 
of  December,  and  that  he  lay  out  two-thirds  of  the  money  in  the 
winter  and  the  other  in  a  summer  school. 

A  School  Society  was  formed  in  October,  1796.  At  this  meet- 
ing a  committee  was  appointed  to  "procure  Masters  and  Misses  in 
their  respective  districts."  The  following  are  the  names  of  that 
committee:  Reuben  Skinner,  Talcott  Flint,  John  Olcott,  Leonard 
Rogers,  Benjamin  Talcott,  Jr.,  and  Elijah  Johns. 

The  first  meetings  of  this  School  Society  were  held  in  the  old 
meeting  house  of  North  Bolton.  In  1808,  a  committee  was  ap- 
pointed to  visit  and  inspect  the  various  schools  of  the  town.  The 
first  committee  so  appointed  consisted  of  Scottoway  Hinckley, 
Oliver  King,  Benjamin  Talcott,  Jr.,  and  Thomas  H.  Kellogg. 

Salary  of  a  Teacher  for  the  summer: 

On  March  12,  1798,  it  was  voted  to  hire  Mabel  Richardson 
four  months  this  summer  at  six  shillings  and  sixpence  per  week. 
Voted  to  pay  by  the  Poll  after  the  public  money  is  used.  In  the 
same  year,  it  was  voted  that  the  Committee  hire  a  man  to  white- 
wash the  schoolhouse  as  cheap  as  possible. 

Prices  for  wood,  painting  and  boarding: 

The  meeting  on  April  5,  1799,  voted  to  give  one  dollar  per  cord 
for  three  feet  of  wood  for  the  coming  winter;  one  dollar  per  week 
for  Boarding  the  School  Master  this  winter;  and  it  was  decided 
to  raise  a  tax  of  one  cent  on  the  dollar  on  last  August's  list  to  paint 
the  schoolhouse  and  building  of  a  new  chimney. 

Four  years  later  it  was  voted  to  give  seven  shillings  for  each 
cord  of  firewood,  three  feet  long,  corded  at  the  schoolhouse. 


Allowance  of  wood  per  scholar: 

On  October  31,  1805,  it  was  voted  that  each  scholar  that  at- 
tend this  school  shall  get  half  cord  three  feet  wood  by  the  16th 
day  of  November  next,  the  wood  to  be  chopped  and  corded  at 
the  schoolhonse,  and  be  liable  to  his  proportion  of  board,  if  said 
wood  is  not  gotten  by  that  time  shall  pay  cash  for  each  half  cord 
of  wood  not  got. 

Improvements  to  Property: 

In  1815  it  was  voted  to  take  down  the  chimney  to  the  school- 
honse and  rebuild  with  brick  and  tax  the  District  on  list  of  1814 
to  pay  the  expense  of  building  the  chimney. 

Cutting  down  expenses:  The  meeting  on  October  29,  1821, 
voted  to  get  a  quarter  cord  of  18-inch  wood  to  a  scholar  instead 
of  half  cord,  but  in  1829  Otis  McLean  agreed  to  get  the  wood  at 
eighty-seven  cents  per  cord,  payable  at  the  first  of  April,  1831.  In 
that  year  of  1829,  it  was  voted  that  the  State  Fund  money  be  ap- 
propriated ($33.50)  for  winter  school,  society  tax  to  pay  for  sum- 
mer school. 

Teacher's  Salary:  On  March  the  27th  of  1839,  it  was  voted  to 
pay  the  teacher  $1.50  per  week,  provided  she  will  board  at  home 
over  the  Sabbath,  and  do  her  washing  free  of  charge. 

Building  a  schoolhouse  in  the  northeast  district:  On  April 
15,  1839,  the  meeting  voted  to  build  a  schoolhouse  in  the  north- 
east district  at  a  cost  of  $300  to  be  raised  on  the  list  of  1840,  pay- 
able in  January,  1841.  A  building  committee  was  appointed  con- 
sisting of  Thaddeus   C.    Bruce,   Elijah   Chapman,   Austin   Tilden. 

It  was  a  one-room  schoolbuilding  on  the  Hartford  Turnpike, 
Route  30,  opposite  the  Gilbert  Ahearn  home,  on  the  south  side  of 
the  turnpike.  It  was  later  moved  to  the  east  side  of  East  Street, 
opposite  Hale  Street,  on  the  south  side  of  the  western  entrance  to 
the  Fair  Grounds   (Hyde  Park). 

This  old  school  building  is  now  the  ell  part  of  the  home  of 
Mrs.  Alfred  Henke,  of  New  York,  who  visits  Rockville  and  occu- 
pies the  home  week  ends.  So  the  old  Northeast  School  building 
is  now  the  kitchen,  pantry  and  bathroom  of  Mrs.  Alfred  Henke's 

Repairing  the  old  schoolhouse:  The  question  of  repairing  the 
old  schoolhouse  or  building  a  new  one  came  up  for  discussion,  and 
on  November  7,  1840,  it  was  voted  to  make  a  thorough  repair  on 


the  old  schoolhouse.     This  amounted  to  -$249.79  and  a  tax  of  thir- 
teen cents  on  the  Grand  List  paid  the  bill. 

Question  of  teacher's  salary :  In  October,  1841,  it  was  voted 
to  hire  Capt.  Smith  if  he  can  be  hired  for  eighteen  dollars  per 
month  for  yearly  months,  he  boarding  himself  over  the  Sabbath 
and  do  his  washing.  The  next  year  it  was  voted  that  we  set  up  a 
school  for  the  term  of  five  months,  with  a  vacation  of  two  weeks 
in  the  middle  of  the  term,  provided  that  a  teacher  can  be  had  for 
the  sum  of  one  dollar  a  week,  and  board  in  the  district,  said  school 
to  commence  on  the  first  Monday  in  May  next. 

Defining  the  Boundary  Line:  Thaddeus  C.  Bruce  was  ap- 
pointed agent  to  apply  to  the  school  society  to  have  the  boundary 
line  of  the  northeast  school  district  defined  on  the  north.  This 
was  in  May,  1844.  At  the  same  meeting  it  was  voted  that  we  au- 
thorize the  teacher  to  take  charge  of  the  children  going  to  and 
returning  from  the  school  and  also  at  intermission.  [Even  then, 
some  pupils  were  as  wayward  as  the  March  winds.] 

On  September  30,  1847,  it  was  voted  to  postpone  moving  the 
schoolhouse  to  the  center  of  district,  and  instruct  the  committee 
to  make  necessary  repairs  and  paint  the  schoolhouse. 

Schoolhouse  moved  to  Center:  About  the  year  1850  the  small 
schoolhouse  on  the  hill  was  moved  to  the  center  to  meet  the  needs 
of  a  growing  population.  It  stood  for  twenty  years  opposite  the 
present  Congregational  Church  on  a  site  which  later  became  the 
Willes  property. 

In  the  year  1870  it  was  moved  near  the  church,  a  second  story 
was  added  to  it,  and  still  stands,  no  longer  a  schoolhouse  but  as  a 
fire  house. 

Effort  to  build  another  schoolhouse  failed:  On  October  21, 
1850,  a  motion  was  made  that  the  scholars  on  the  north  side  of 
the  stream  that  runs  from  Snipsic  Pond  have  the  money  they  draw 
to  set  up  another  school.  The  motion  being  put,  it  was  found  to 
stand  thus — 6  in  favor  of  the  motion  and  21  against. 

The  tax  per  scholar  per  day:  March  17,  1858,  voted  that  there 
be  a  tax  of  three  quarters  of  a  cent  on  the  attendance  of  each 
scholar  per  day. 

Voted  that  those  who  live  out  of  the  district  be  taxed  one  and 
a  quarter  cents  on  the  attendance. 

Desire  for  a  Library:  December  13,  1858,  voted  that  this  dis- 
trict appropriate  ten  dollars  for  a  district  library.    Voted  that  L.  H. 


Chapman  be  appointed  a  Committee  to  draw  the  money  from  the 
State  Treasury.  Voted  that  L.  H.  Chapman  and  T.  C.  Bruce  be 
appointed  a  committee  to  confer  with  the  Board  of  Education  in 
reference  to  a  library  and  to  purchase  the  books. 

School  Visitations:  Voted  on  September  30,  1859,  that  a  com- 
mittee be  appointed  to  visit  the  school  once  in  three  weeks. 

Voters  at  Meetings  of  School  Board:  On  October  7,  1859, 
voted  that  all  those  who  are  not  legal  voters  to  "set  by  themselves." 

Northeast  School  District  fails  to  make  report:  The  North- 
east School  District  having  failed  to  make  their  annual  appoint- 
ment of  officers  legally,  we,  the  members  of  the  Board  of  School 
Visitors  do  hereby  appoint  Hubbard  Tucker  for  District  Commit- 
tee and  L.  H.  Chapman  clerk  and  treasurer  for  the  remaining  part 
of  this  school  year  1860-1. 

L.  G.  Risley 

P.  H.  Talcott 

A.  C.  Crosbv — School  Visitors. 

Paying  the  Tax  Collector:  On  September  23,  1861,  voted  that 
we  proceed  to  an  informal  ballot  for  committees. 

Voted  to  allow  the  collector  two  cents  on  a  dollar  for  col- 
lecting the  taxes. 

The  last  meeting  recorded  in  the  book  is  an  adjourned  school 
meeting  held  at  the  schoolhouse  October  7,  1861. 

Voted  to  hire  a  teacher  to  commence  the  School  first  Mondav 
of  November.  Voted  that  the  Committee  be  instructed  to  purchase 
what  wood  is  necessary. 


In  the  fall  of  1829.  the  Vernon  School  Societv  voted  "to  estab- 
lish a  school  of  a  higher  order,"  and  appointed  a  committee  to 
carrv  this  vote  into  effect.  A  similar  vote  was  passed  annual lv 
with  but  three  or  four  exceptions  until  1856  when  the  School  So- 
cieties were  abolished,  and  the  schools  came  under  the  control 
of  the  towns.  The  school  thus  established  was  held,  during  winter 
terms  only,  in  the  upper  room  of  the  school  house  of  the  Center 
District,  and  was  the  "upper  school"  for  that  district,  which  fur- 
nished a  large  proportion  of  its  scholars,  but  it  was  also  the  "High 
School"  for  the  whole  town,  until  the  growth  of  Rockville  called 


also  for  a  similar  school  in  that  part  of  the  town. 

The  people  of  Vernon  were  greatly  interested  in  the  subject  of 
education,  especially  during  the  first  part  of  the  period  under  re- 
view. The  High  School  was  usually  well  kept,  and  many  of  the 
pupils  made  good  use  of  their  privileges.  Besides  advanced  classes 
in  the  studies  taught  in  the  district  schools,  there  were  classes  in 
Algebra,  Geometry,  and  Mental  and  Natural  Philosophy;  and  some- 
times in  Chemistry,  Surveying,  Logic  and  other  "higher  branches" 
of  learning.  A  few  students  in  Latin  and  Greek  received  here  a 
part  of  their  preparation  for  college.  Special  attention  was  given 
to  Composition  and  Declamation,  and  there  were  often  thought  to 
be  marked  indications  of  genius  in  the  exercises  of  those  Wednes- 
day afternoons.  More  ambitious  efforts  were  made  in  the  "ex- 
hibitions" which  often  closed  the  school  term. 

There  are  men  now  sedate  with  cares  and  years,  from  Con- 
necticut to  California,  who,  with  some  mild  mistrust  of  their  own 
identity,  recall  the  enthusiasm  with  which  they  appeared  before 
crowded  audiences  in  the  "Conference  Room"  of  the  church  at 
Vernon,  declaiming  choice  extracts  in  prose  or  verse,  arrayed  in 
robes  befitting  their  "parts"  in  dialogues.  There  were  giants  in 
those  days — some  school  masters  of  the  old-fashioned  art — stern 
embodiments  of  wisdom,  whims  and  crotchets. 

It  is  not  easy  to  ascertain  who  were  the  teachers  of  this  High 
School  through  all  its  period.  Here  is  a  partial  list — Theodore  L. 
Wright,  1829-30  and  1830-31;  highly  successful;  Mr.  Knox,  1831-32; 
George  C.  Partridge,  1832-33;  Alvan  Talcott,  1833-34;  Brewster 
Lyman,  1834-35;  Mr.  McCall,  1835-36;  Francis  L.  Dickinson,  1836-37 
and  1837-38;  Mr.  Nills,  1838-39;  Homer  Sears,  1839-40;  Charles  S. 
Minor,  1840-41;  Stephen  Fenn,  1848-49;  William  R.  Lyon,  1855-56. 
Partridge  and  Graves  graduated  from  Amherst;  Minor  and  Fenn 
from  Yale;  and  Lyon  from  Williams. 

Before  the  High  School  was  established,  there  was  a  select 
school  in  the  winter  of  1815-16,  taught  by  Julius  Steele  Barnes.  It 
was  kept  in  the  red  house,  then  standing  opposite  the  present  Post 
Office,  and  had  an  attendance  of  30  to  40  scholars.  Barnes  had 
recently  graduated  from  Yale  College,  and  after  graduation  taught 
school  for  a  time,  and  then  began  the  study  of  medicine  in  the 
Yale  Medical  School,  where  he  received  the  degree  of  M.D.  in 

George  Cotton  Patridge,  who  taught  in  1832-33,  was  a  grad- 
uate of  Amherst  College  in  the  class  of  1833.     He  was  born  in 


Hatfield,  Massachusetts,  August  27,  1813,  and  was  fitted  for  college 
at  Hopkins  Academy,  Hadley.  He  was  a  member  of  Andover 
Seminary  one  year,  1835-36,  and  became  a  tutor  in  Amherst  Col- 
lege in  1837. 

Alvan  Talcott,  who  taught  in  1833-34,  graduated  from  Yale 
College  with  the  class  of  1824.  He  was  born  in  Vernon,  Connecti- 
cut, on  August  17,  1804.  After  leaving  college  he  was  engaged 
for  five  years  in  teaching,  then  studied  in  Yale  Medical  School, 
receiving  the  degree  of  M.D.  in  1831.  He  began  his  professional 
life  in  Vernon,  but  in  1841  removed  to  Guilford,  Connecticut,  where 
he  continued  in  active  practice  for  about  forty  years.  He  died 
there,  of  old  age,  on  January  17,  1891,  in  his  87th  year. 

Francis  Lemuel  Dickinson,  who  taught  in  1836-37,  was  born 
in  Portland,  then  part  of  Chatham,  Connecticut,  on  January  29, 
1817.  He  graduated  from  Yale  in  1840.  On  his  graduation  he  set- 
tled at  first  in  Hampton,  and  a  year  later  in  Willington,  as  a  phy- 
sician and  removed  thence  to  Rockville  in  the  summer  of  1863. 
He  represented  Willington  in  the  General  Assembly  in  1850  and 
1857,  and  Vernon  in  1875;  and  for  three  years  (1877-79)  he  was  a 
member  of  the  State  Senate.  His  wife  was  a  daughter  of  Colonel 
Francis  McLean,  of  Vernon. 

Charles  Sherman  Minor,  who  taught  1840-41,  was  born  in 
Washington,  Connecticut,  January  11,  1817,  graduated  from  Yale 
in  the  class  of  1841.  After  graduation  he  taught  at  the  Academy 
in  Wellsborough,  Pennsylvania,  two  years,  then  returned  to  Yale 
Law  School,  and  was  admitted  to  the  Bar  in  New  Haven. 

Stephen  Fenn,  who  taught  in  1848-49,  was  born  in  Plymouth, 
Connecticut,  October  6,  1824,  graduated  from  Yale  in  the  class  of 
1849.  The  two  years  after  his  graduation  were  spent  in  teaching 
in  Connecticut,  then  he  entered  on  the  preparation  for  the  min- 
istry in  the  Yale  Divinity  School.  Two  years  later  he  was  ordained 
in  the  Congregational  Ministry  in  1854.  He  supplied  the  pulpit  in 
Vernon  in  1874  and  later  in  Wapping,  where  he  resided  until  his 

William  Richards  Lyon,  who  taught  in  1855-56,  was  born  in 
Genoa,  New  York,  May  6,  1834,  and  in  1858  graduated  from  Wil- 
liams College,  Massachusetts.  His  father,  Moses  Lyon,  was  a 
native  of  Connecticut  and  the  son  of  Deacon  Caleb  Lyon,  a  gun- 
smith, who  made  and  repaired  guns  for  the  American  soldiers  in 
the  Revolutionary  War.     After  graduation  he  devoted  himself  to 


the  studv  of  law.  and  in  the  winter  of  1860  he  attended  the  Uni- 
versity of  Michigan  and  was  admitted  to  the  practice  of  law  in  1863. 

We  have  furnished  details  of  the  training  of  these  seven  men 
to  show  the  high  standard  of  the  High  School  of  Vernon  in  the  first 
half  of  the  nineteenth  centurv. 

Further  e^dence  of  the  intelligence  of  the  Vernon  citizens  of 
a  centurv  ago  is  reflected  in  the 



Organized  Januarv  25.  1848 

( A  copv  of  which  mav  be  seen  in  the  State  Librarv  at  Hartford ) 

Article  I — This  Societv  shall  be  known  as  the  Franklin  Lvceum. 
Article  II — The  officers  of  this  Societv  shall  consist  of  a  President. 

and  Secretary,  the  former  to  be  chosen  at  each  meeting  of  the 

Societv.  for  the  next  following  discussion. 
There  were  43  members  and  E.  H.  Lathrop  was  the  first  president. 
Meetings  will  be  weeklv  on  Thursdav  evenings  at  6!o  o'clock. 

Here  are  a  few  of  the  questions  discussed: 

Question — Which  can  be  dispensed  with  from  Societv  the  best  the 
Lawver  or  the  Phvsician? 

Which  is  the  greater  evil — Intemperance  or  Slavery? 
Would  secret  societies  receive  the  approbation  of  the 
people  of  this  Countrv  or  anv  other? 
Does  the  addition  of  Territorv  to  our  Union  increase 
our  National  Strength? 

Which  has   the    greater   influence   upon   mankind,   the 
fear  of  punishment  or  hope  of  reward? 
Which  has  the  most  influence  in  Societv.  Males  or  Fe- 

Should  our  State  Legislature  have  the  power  of  grant- 
ing divorces? 

All  gentlemen  belonging  to  the  Rockville  Lvceum  will  be  ad- 
mitted  as  honorarv  members. 

[The  Rockville  Lvceum  was  known  as  the  Mutual  Improvement 
Societv  which  met  in  the  popular  Lecture  Room,  near  the  First 
Congregational  Church  of  Rockville.] 

O        O  J 


The  building  of  the  Rock  Mill  in  1821  brought  an  increasing 
number  of  families  into  the  village  and  schools  became  necessary. 
In  the  East  District  the  first  school  was  kept  in  the  year  1828  in 
the  parlor  of  a  house  built  for  George  Kellogg  in  the  New  Eng- 
land yard.  A  school  was  started  wherever  there  was  available  a 
room  in  a  private  house.  In  1834  there  was  a  school  in  the  old 
Martin  house  which  stood  where  Judge  D wight  Loomis  lived  later 
on  the  east  corner  of  Park  and  Prospect  Streets. 

Another  small  school  accommodated  a  number  of  children 
over  the  first  store  at  the  corner  of  School  and  Park  Streets. 

On  November  17,  1836,  a  meeting  of  the  legal  voters  of  the 
Rock  School  District  was  held  at  the  office  of  the  Rock  Company. 
Willard  Fuller  acted  as  chairman.  Three  persons  were  "appointed 
with  the  school  committee  to  procure  a  room  for  the  school."  It 
was  voted  "that  school  be  kept  four  months  the  ensuing  season," 
and  that  "warnings  for  school  meetings  shall  be  put  on  the  door 
of  the  store  now  occupied  bv  J.  F.  Judd  &  Company."  Lucius 
Hinckley  was  chosen  "to  procure  a  subscription  for  defraying  the 
expenses  of  room,  wood,  store,  etc." 

A  building  was  erected  upon  the  ground  now  known  as  the 
Snipsic  Block,  corner  of  Park  Place  and  Park  Street.  It  became 
known  as  the  lecture  room,  and  in  it  was  rented  a  room  fitted 
with  desks  and  chairs  for  school  uses.  The  upper  floor  was  used 
exclusively  for  Sundav  sendees,  the  pulpit  being  at  the  north  end, 
and  the  choir  on  a  raised  platform  at  the  other  end.  In  the  rear 
room  on  the  first  floor  was  the  schoolroom. 

In  the  year  1837  it  was  voted  "that  school  be  kept  three 
months  and  longer  unless  there  shall  be  objection  on  the  part  of 
any  members,  and  each  person  was  assessed  in  proportion  to  the 
number  of  scholars  he  sent."  It  was  also  decided  that  "a  school 
commence  as  soon  as  a  teacher  can  be  procured."  Up  to  the  vear 
1839  there  was  but  one  grade. 

In  1841  persons  living  out  of  the  district  were  permitted  to 
send  scholars  to  the  school  bv  paving  their  portion  of  the  expense. 

The  lecture  room  supplied  the  wants  of  the  people  in  the 
East  District  for  several  years,  though  the  accommodation  was 
inadequate,  and  the  Sears  building  on  Market  Street  was  fitted 
up  as  a  public  hall  and  a  schoolhouse. 



In  the  Report  of  the  Superintendent  of  Schools  of  Connecticut 
the  town  of  Vernon  is  listed  under  Tolland  County  as  having  eight 
school  districts  and  439  school  children  in  1845.  The  report  for 
1848  states  that  "some  of  the  teachers  have  made  praiseworthy 
efforts  to  do  their  duty.  The  schools  have  been  examined  accord- 
ing to  law,  so  that  the  public  money  has  been  secured." 

In  1849  we  read: 

"Since  the  last  year's  report  of  the  Vernon  School 
Society,  that  Society  has  been  divided  by  the  Legislature, 
and  two  districts  have  been  set  off  to  form  a  new  society 
in  Rockville,  leaving  six  districts  in  the  old  society.  In 
these  Districts,  efforts  have  been  made  by  the  Visiting 
Committee  for  the  improvement  of  the  schools,  in  some 
with  a  good  degree  of  success;  in  others,  with  very  little. 
In  three  of  the  six  Districts,  outline  maps  have  been  intro- 
duced; in  five  small  globes,  and  charts  of  the  elementary 
sounds  of  the  language." 

In  that  same  year,  a  vote  was  taken  on  the  question — "wheth- 
er we  will  do  anything  the  present  season  toward  building  a  new 
schoolhouse.  Vote  taken  by  ballot — 21  yeas,  2  nays."  Phineas 
Talcott,  William  T.  Cogswell  and  A.  C.  Crosby  were  made  a  com- 
mittee, "to  see  what  can  be  done  toward  procuring  a  site  for  a 
schoolhouse,  and  also  ascertain  the  expense  and  report  at  a  future 

One  week  later,  April  21,  1849,  the  report  of  said  committee 
was  made  and  accepted.  A  committee  of  five  was  then  chosen 
to  investigate  the  subject  further  and  report  at  the  next  meeting. 
The  committee  were  Messrs.  Cogswell  and  Talcott  of  the  former 
board  together  with  J.  N.  Stickney,  S.  P.  Rose  and  A.  Hammond. 

On  May  1,  1849,  it  was  "unanimously  voted  that  this  meet- 
ing is  in  favor  of  a  lot  on  the  Tavern  Company's  land,"  and  the 
committee  appointed  to  select  a  site  was  instructed  to  negotiate 
for  the  lot.  On  May  11,  the  committee  reported  that  they  had  con- 
tracted for  the  lot,  and  A.  Hammond,  Wm.  T.  Cogswell  and  C. 
Burdick  were  appointed  "to  make  a  plan  and  estimate  of  expenses 
for  the  building."  (The  Tavern  Company  was  the  Rockville  House 
Company. ) 

The  plan  was  accepted  on  May  18,  1849,  and  it  was  voted 
"that  the  District  will  proceed  to  erect  a  suitable  house  for  the  Dis- 


A  building  committee  was  appointed — Messrs.  Cogswell,  Ham- 
mond and  Stickney.  It  was  voted  "that  the  Building  Committee 
report  a  plan  of  a  schoolhouse  of  the  size  and  general  character 
of  the  one  they  have  seen  in  Springfield."  On  May  25,  1849,  the 
report  was  made  and  accepted. 

The  building  committee  was  directed  to  build  in  accordance 
with  their  report.  It  was  voted  "that  they  be  authorized  to  bor- 
row money  to  complete  the  schoolhouse,  and  give  their  votes  for 
the  same."  On  November  5,  it  was  voted  "to  raise  the  sum  of  13 
cents  on  a  dollar  on  the  list  of  1849  for  the  purpose  of  defraying 
in  part  the  expense  of  building  the  schoolhouse  now  being  com- 
pleted." Incidentally  the  building  committee  put  a  bell  on  the 
new  house. 

Therefore  in  the  year  1849  the  first  brick  schoolhouse  was 
built  by  William  T.  Cogswell.  In  the  period  of  the  Gold  Rush 
when  the  shy  young  man,  James  Wilson  Marshall,  stooped  down 
in  the  sleepy  village  of  Colonia,  and  picked  up  the  first  gold  found 
in  California,  the  sum  of  $10,000  was  set  aside  for  the  purpose, 
to  cover  the  complete  cost  of  building  and  furnishing  the  school. 
It  was  erected  on  School  Street,  where  the  East  District  School 
playground  now  faces  the  Palace  Theater. 

In  this  brick  building  the  entire  High  School  system  of  Vernon 
was  actually  born,  the  first  regular  school  building  for  both  the 
lower  and  higher  grades.  This  marked  the  beginning  of  our  mod- 
ern system  of  education.  It  was  occupied  on  the  first  day  of  Janu- 
ary, 1850,  when  citizens  listened  to  an  address  by  Mr.  Mason,  "for 
which  he  received  a  vote  of  thanks."  The  cost  of  the  school  was 
met  by  a  tax  on  the  property  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  East  School 

A  set  of  rules  was  presented  by  Rev.  Andrew  Sharpe,  pastor 
of  the  Second  Congregational  Church  1849-1851,  having  reference 
to  schoolhouse  and  grounds:  Rule  1 — That  teachers  be  in  their 
places  fifteen  minutes  before  commencing  school  exercises;  Rule  2 
— As  both  the  teachers  and  pupils  need  the  blessing  of  God  the 
morning  exercises  should  be  commenced  with  reading  Scriptures 
and  with  prayer;  Rule  3 — The  school  should  be  held  for  the  usual 
time  on  each  secular  day  of  the  week  except  Saturday,  when  no 
session  shall  be  holden  in  the  afternoons;  Rule  4 — pertains  to  venti- 
lation, temperature  and  care  of  the  premises;  Rule  5 — gives  direc- 
tion as  to  keeping  registers;  Rule  6 — gives  teachers  authority  to 
make  such  rules  for  the  discipline,  classification,  and  internal  order 



of  the  school  as  thev  deem  necessarv  and  expedient,  subject  to 
approval  of  the  board  of  visitors;  Rule  7 — a  recess  of  ten  minutes 
is  allowed  to  all  in  each  session.  In  the  primarv  department  an 
additional  ten  minutes  is  given.  Rule  8 — provision  is  made  for  the 
removal  of  refractorv  scholars:  Rule  9 — enjoins  the  pupils  to  "ab- 
stain from  indolence,  deception,  profanitv.  and  all  wicked  and 
dishonorable  practices." 

The  erection  of  this  school  gave  Rockville  a  high  reputation. 
True,  there  was  much  criticism  bv  a  few  taxpayers.  Thev  claimed 
its  size  was  enormous  and  never  would  be  required  for  school 
purposes.  Their  fathers  lived  through  tiieir  school  davs  occupy- 
ing seats  made  of  slabs  and  planks,  with  legs  made  of  round  wood 
placed  through  two-inch  auger  holes  in  either  end  of  the  bench  and 
wedged  in  on  top  of  the  bench  to  hold  them  fast,  said  they,  the 
schoolhouses  of  those  davs.  with  furniture,  did  not  cost  more  than 
*200,  shovel,  tongs,  andirons,  and  all! 

In  1850  a  tax  was  laid  of  15  cents  on  the  dollar;  in  1851.  the 
tax  was  13  cents;  in  1852.  12  cents;  and  in  1853,  10  cents. 

The  Superintendent  of  Schools  of  Connecticut,  in  his  report  of 
1851,  has  this  word  of  praise  for  Vernon  School  Society: 


"There  is  only  one  town — the  town  of  Vernon — in 
which  a  uniformity  of  text-books  in  the  schools  has  been 
secured.  In  some  other  societies,  attempts  have  been  made, 
books  have  been  recommended,  and  in  part  introduced. 
But  in  no  other  has  the  object  aimed  at  bv  the  law  been 
accomplished,  bv  the  ruling  out  of  all  books  except  those 
prescribed  by  the  School  Visitors,  and  the  classing  to- 
gether of  all  scholars  of  the  same  attainments,  in  the  same 

At  the  meeting  of  the  School  Visitors  of  Rockville,  in  October 
last  ( 1851 )  the  question  was  asked,  "Is  there  a  common  school  in 
Tolland  Countv  that  has  a  permanent  teacher?"  But  there  was  no 
response.  "In  one  district  in  Rockville,  however,  the  same  female 
teacher  has  taught  the  smaller  children  the  greater  part  of  the 
time  for  the  last  four  vears.  The  two  districts  in  that  societv  have 
also  hired  each  a  male  teacher  for  a  vear.  Besides  these,  I  am  not 
aware  of  anv  movement  in  our  schools  towards  this  kind  of  perma- 
nence. In  all  the  districts  in  Rockville  and  Vernon,  outline  maps, 
globes,  and  charts  of  the  sounds  are  found. 

Continuing,  the  report  states:  "The  highest  wages  of  female 
teachers  that  I  have  been  able  to  report  were  those  of  the  teachers 
in  the  center  district  in  Rockville,  two  dollars  and  fiftv  cents  a  week 
and  board  in  one  case,  and  five  dollars  a  week  including  board  in 
another.  The  his;hest  salarv  of  a  male  teacher,  so  far  as  I  am  in- 
formed,  is  that  of  the  teacher  of  the  West  District  in  Rockville. 
four  hundred  and  fiftv  dollars  a  vear  and  board  himself.  ( Of 
this,  however,  $250  is  paid  bv  private  subscription. ) " 

The  first  principal  in  the  new  brick  schoolhouse  was  a  Mr. 
Mason,  of  Boston,  who  remained  onlv  one  season.  He  was.  how- 
ever, popular  among  pupils.  He  took  an  active  part  in  all  their 
programs  of  sports. 

After  Mr.  Mason  came  Emorv  F.  Strong  in  1859.  a  native  of 
Bolton,  Connecticut,  a  college  graduate,  and  a  competent,  energetic, 
popular  teacher.  He  did  much  to  grade  up  and  improve  the 
schools.     Subsequent  teachers,  however,  were  less  successful. 

Public  sentiment  remained  antagonistic  to  higher  crrade 
schools.  Finallv.  in  a  hotlv  contested  District  School  meeting,  a 
committee  was  elected  who  would  not  emplov  a  college  graduate. 
Fortunatelv  thev  builded  better  than  thev  knew,  for  an  excep- 
tionally fine  principal,  John  M.  Turner,  was  engaged,  and  to  him 
the  educational  interests  of  Rockville  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude. 


Mr.  Turner  was  succeeded  bv  Mortimer  Warren,  a  graduate 
of  the  New  Britain  Normal  School.  He  was  an  able  teacher,  but 
a  little  too  progressive  and  optimistic,  and  endeavored  to  stir  up 
the  people  to  build  at  once  a  town  High  School.  The  effort  was 
premature,  for  the  citizens  were  not  vet  readv. 

On  September  14,  1853,  it  was  voted  "that  the  district  com- 
mittee be  authorized  to  prepare  a  suitable  place  for  the  library." 
The  building  was  insured  for  -85,000.  In  October,  the  furnaces 
were  removed  from  the  schoolhouse  and  it  was  warmed  by  the  use 
of  wood  stoves.  The  district  committee  was  directed  not  to  hire 
more  than  two  teachers  for  the  upper  room  unless  the  number  of 
scholars  should  exceed  ninetv.  The  principal  was  also  forbidden 
to  admit  scholars  who  did  not  belong  in  the  district. 

On  March  10,  1856,  the  district  voted  "to  defer  the  purchase 
of  a  bell  till  the  schoolhouse  be  paid  for."  The  district  committee 
was  directed  to  retain  Mr.  Turner  as  teacher  for  the  year  ensuing, 
and  to  procure  seats  for  the  school  room. 

In  the  year  1856  a  State  law  abolished  the  School  Societies  and 
transferred  the  school  jurisdiction  from  the  parish  back  to  the  town. 

In  November,  1857,  voted  "that  all  studies  except  the  English 
branches  be  excluded  from  the  school."  In  1858  voted  "that  the 
school  be  kept  five  and  one-half  days  each  week  and  three  hours 
each  half-dav."  In  1859  the  tuition  of  anv  scholar  admitted  to  the 
His;h  School  from  out  of  the  district  was  fixed  at  thirty  cents  per 

At  a  meeting  held  on  September  21,  1860,  various  matters  were 
discussed — the  sale  of  a  portion  of  the  school  lot;  the  expense  of 
a  well,  and  the  widening  of  the  road  running  past  the  schoolhouse, 
and  on  October  5,  William  R.  Orcutt,  committee  on  fence  and 
well,  reported  that  the  fence  could  be  built  at  83.75  per  rod,  and 
a  well  would  cost  anvwhere  from  850  to  8500. 

In  1861  it  was  "resolved  that  pupils  shall  not  be  permitted  to 
congregate  in  the  school  vard  near  the  schoolhouse,  to  make  use  of 
the  same  as  a  common  plavground,  but  shall  be  restricted  to  the  use 
of  the  vard  and  the  schoolhouse  park." 

In  1862,  voted  "that  the  Committee  be  instructed  to  substitute 
larger  stove  pipes  than  those  now  in  use."  The  Committee  was 
instructed  "to  consult  with  the  Visiting  Committee  in  selecting 
teachers,  and  that  this  be  a  permanent  vote." 

At  a  special  meeting  November  29,  the  district  committee  was 


instructed  to  procure  a  bell  for  the  schoolhouse  at  a  cost  not  ex- 
ceeding '$40.00,  but  on  December  30,  it  was  moved  by  Cyrus 
White  "that  a  special  committee  be  appointed  to  exchange  the  bell 
belonging  to  the  schoolhouse  for  a  good  one,  and  that  the  same 
be  paid  for  from  funds  of  the  district."  So  voted.  Also  "that  a 
sum  not  exceeding  $150  be  appropriated  for  the  purchase  of  a 
bell."  Voted  "that  the  district  committee  be  instructed  to  procure 
kerosene  lamps  sufficient  to  light  the  school  room." 

In  1864  it  was  resolved  "that  hereafter  the  district  committee- 
man shall  receive  $50  as  compensation  for  one  year's  service  pro- 
vided he  shall  serve  a  longer  period  than  one  year." 

In  1865  the  plan  of  building  a  wing  on  the  west  end  of  the 
brick  schoolhouse  was  again  proposed  and  on  July  14,  it  was  voted 
"to  rent  and  fix  up  J.  P.  Gaynor's  barn,  for  86  additional  scholars." 
(It  has  been  established  that  originally  Gaynor's  barn,  which  stood 
on  the  present  site  of  Krause's  Bakery,  corner  of  Gaynor  Place  and 
Prospect  Street,  was  a  tavern.) 

In  1866  the  district  voted  to  procure  a  musical  instrument  for 
the  upper  school  at  a  cost  of  not  more  than  $250. 

The  Connecticut  Board  of  Education  in  its  report  for  1866 
quotes  Dr.  S.  G.  Risley,  School  Visitor  of  Rockville: 

"The  people  in  both  districts  of  the  village  have  shown 
a  growing  interest  in  the  cause  of  education.  School  meet- 
ings have  been  attended  more  and  more  fully  when  the 
prospects  and  interest  of  the  schools  have  been  freely  de- 
bated and  acted  upon.  Schools  have  been  visited  bv  par- 
ents and  friends,  but  thus  pupils  and  teachers  have  been 
cheered  and  encouraged  in  their  tasks  and  labors.  The 
subject  of  a  High  School  is  seriouslv  agitated,  and  when 
we  have  hit  upon  the  best  plan,  and  business  is  a  little 
more  prosperous,  I  think  we  shall  have  a  High  School 
that  will  be  a  credit  to  the  town." 

And  in  1868  the  same  State  Board  of  Education  quotes  J.  N. 
Stickney    ( Rockville ) : 

"We  have  a  reading  room  association,  subscription 
$21/9  a  year — 15  or  20  papers  and  magazines.  We  hope 
this  will  grow  into  a  library  association,  which  we  esteem 
of  great  value  as  an  educational  force.  The  voung  people 
of  such  a  place  as  Rockville  would  be  greatly  benefitted 
by  having  the  free  use  of  a  well  selected  library,  and  we 



indulge  the  hope  that  the  time  is  not  very  far  distant  when 
such  an  institution  will  exist  here." 

A  meeting  was  held  in  the  Methodist  Conference  Room  on 
Monday,  January  13,  1868,  agitating  for  a  High  School.  The  town 
was  widely  known  for  stability,  energy,  activity  and  forethought. 
The  Board  of  Selectmen  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  was  urged  to  call 
a  special  town  meeting  "to  see  if  the  town  will  erect  a  suitable 
building  for  a  town  High  School."  The  sorry  fact  was  pointed 
out  that  there  was  no  public  library,  no  reading  room,  no  lyceum 
or  course  of  lectures  this  winter. 

In  the  meantime,  the  important  school  of  the  East  District 
in  1869  was  divided  into  three  primary  departments:  the  first, 
the  second  and  third;  and  the  upper  department.  Mr.  Mortimer 
A.  Warren  had  just  resigned  as  principal  of  the  upper  school,  and 
was  succeeded  by  Mr.  John  T.  Clarke,  whose  teaching  experience 
had  been  gained  as  principal  for  several  years  at  the  Nichols  Acad- 
emy, Dudley,  Massachusetts,  and  in  the  New  Jersey  Normal  School 
at  Trenton.  He  kept  a  tight  rein  on  discipline.  The  school  was 
composed  of  "large  scholars,  far  enough  advanced  to  be  by  them- 











selves,"  and  quite  "a  number  of  smaller  ones  who  had  been  crowd- 
ed out  of  the  lower  rooms  for  lack  of  adequate  space." 

The  population  of  the  town  was  fast  increasing.  The  steady 
growth  in  the  manufacture  and  development  of  new  industries 
called  for  additional  labor,  and  the  consequence  was  there  was  a 
large  influx  of  families.  The  large  brick  schoolhouse  had  proved 

It  is  of  interest  to  note  that  more  than  thirty  years  later,  1903 
to  1909,  J.  Henry  McCray,  a  builder  and  contractor,  gave  instruction 
in  manual  training  on  the  first  floor  of  this  old  schoolhouse.  Mc- 
Cray was  the  architect  and  builder  of  the  Prescott  Block,  the 
Central  Fire  Station,  St.  Joseph's  School  and  Martin's  Fish  Line 

An  enumeration  of  scholars  between  the  ages  of  four  and  six- 
teen in  January,  1870,  showed — 

Rockville  East  District  690 

Rockville  West  District  292 

Centre  50 

Southwest  99 


So  on  March  7,  1870,  it  was  voted  to  build  two  new  school 
edifices — one  of  brick  52  feet  by  72  feet,  situated  near  the  extrem- 
ity of  the  District's  grounds  on  School  Street,  capacity  for  400  pu- 
pils in  eight  rooms,  three  stories  high  including  basement  at  a  cost 
not  to  exceed  $13,000;  and  a  primary  schoolhouse  smaller  and  less 
pretentious,  on  Vernon  Avenue,  near  the  house  of  Andrew  Kemp. 
The  contractor  was  John  G.  Bailey.  This  second  brick  schoolhouse 
on  School  Street  still  serves  as  a  school. 

In  September,  1870,  the  East  District  School  opened  under  a 
new  principal.  Mr.  Randall  Spaulding,  a  young  man  of  energy 
and  thorough  scholarship,  came  to  the  head  of  this  school,  with  the 
understanding  that  he  was  to  organize  a  High  School  course. 
When  the  school  opened,  the  building  was  too  crowded  and  too 
small  to  make  a  satisfactory  grading  possible.  When  the  winter 
term  opened,  however,  the  two  new  buildings  which  had  been 
completed  in  the  interim  improved  accommodations. 

These  two  additional  schools  soon  proved  insufficent,  and  for 
nearly  twenty  years  the  question  was  agitated  for  erecting  a  High 
School  by  the  town,  thus  relieving  the  District  Schools  of  the  more 
advanced  pupils. 



A  very  important  decision  was  reached  at  the  annual  town 
meeting  on  October  3,  1870,  when  it  was 

Resolved  that  hereafter  the  town  shall  maintain  schools 
in  all  the  Districts  in  the  town  forty  weeks  in  every  year; 
and  these  weeks  shall  be  divided  into  three  terms — winter, 
spring,  and  autumn.  The  winter  term  shall  commence  on 
the  first  Monday  after  Thanksgiving  Day  and  continue 
fifteen  weeks;  the  Spring  term  shall  commence  on  the  first 
Monday  in  April  and  continue  twelve  weeks;  the  Autumn 
term  shall  commence  on  the  first  Monday  in  September 
and  continue  thirteen  weeks. 




In  the  year  1870,  the  North  East  District  School  on  Hale 
Street  was  built.  The  Tolland  County  Journal  of  October  15. 
1870,  gives  the  report  of  the  School  Visitors.  A  portion  of  that 
report  reads: 

"The  North  East  District  has  done  nobly.  Though 
deprived  by  construction  of  districts  in  town  of  more  than 
one-third  of  their  territory  and  of  their  scholars,  yet  they 
have  within  the  year  erected  a  fine  new  school  on  a  pleas- 
ant and  central  site. 

"The  expense  of  said  building  being  about  $3,000 — 
size  on  the  ground  26  by  50  feet — capable  of  accommo- 
dating 60  scholars  or  more."  Miss  Julia  O'Keefe,  now 
83  years  of  age,  taught  in  the  school  for  many  years,  and 
Harry  N.  Pinney,  now  86  years  of  age,  was  a  pupil  in  the 

A  reporter  in  Tolland  County  Journal  in  1873  tells  of  his 
visits  to  the  schools: 

Last  Friday  we  made  a  tour  cf  a  number  of  schools 
in  the  East  District.  It  was  music  day,  and  the  way  the 
quavers  and  semi-quavers  were  made  to  dance  and  sing, 
and  the  rollicking  young  voices  went  up  and  down  the 
musical  ladder,  was  a  caution  to  those  having  no  ears  for 

Mr.  Irving  Emerson  goes  through  the  schools  in  the 
East  District,  taking  two  schools  at  a  time  in  one  room  for 
drill  and  exercise.  This  gives  the  music  teacher  personal 
contact  with  seventy-five  to  one  hundred  scholars  at  each 
lesson,  supported  and  aided  by  the  obliging  lady  teachers, 
whose  schools  are,  for  the  time  being,  united.  The  musi- 
cal exercises  are  engaged  in  every  Friday  afternoon.  Once 
a  month,  the  schools  are  mustered  in  full  force  in  the 
High  School  room  for  an  hour's  practice.  Today  is  their 

A  week  ago  we  loitered  for  an  hour  or  two  in  the 
High  School,  under  the  care  of  Mr.  Raymond  and  Miss 



Hutchins.  Visitors  will  here  find  a  variety  of  engaging 
exercises,  from  dry  excavations  for  Greek  roots  and  Latin 
derivatives  to  the  more  elevated  recitations  in  physical 
geography  (especially  elevated  when  the  lesson  takes  in 
hills  and  mountains),  even  to  the  twinkling  stars  among 
the  wonderful  revelations  of  astronomical  science.  The 
pleasant  recitation  which  we  heard  in  astronomy  was  upon 
the  Constellations — a  beautiful  and  fascinating  branch  of 
this  ennobling  study.  Shakesperian  readings  is  one  of  the 
regular  afternoon  exercises — the  passage  read  in  our  hear- 
ing, from  King  Lear,  evinced  pleasing  progress  in  the 
all-important  study -reading. 

An  addition  has  recently  been  made  to  the  philosoph- 
ical apparatus  of  this  school  purchased  from  funds  taken 
from  its  own  treasury,  among  other  things,  an  air-pump 
is  noticeable. 

On  August  2,  1872,  this  surprising  record  of  overworked  stu- 
dents appears: 

"The  school  year  is  apparently  a  fortnight  too  long 
for  the  older  scholars  who  are  obliged  to  study  at  home. 
Many  were  exhausted  and  left  before  the  close  of  the 

It  was  announced  that  the  branches  to  be  pursued  in  the 
High  School  in  the  Fall  term  of  1872  would  be:  By  the  senior 
class — Cicero,  Xenophon's  Anabasis,  Classical  Manual,  etc.;  by  the 
Senior  middle  class — Cicero's  Select  Orations,  German  Selections 
from  standard  German  authors,  Geometry,  English  composition 
and  Exercises  in  reading  from  Shakespeare.  There  will  be  a  class 
beginning  Latin,  and  possibly  one  beginning  German.  Other 
classes  will  recite  in  Rhetoric,  Algebra,  Arithmetic,  English  Gram- 
mar and  Analysis,  Geography,  descriptive  and  physical,  Spelling, 
etc.    This  High  School  was  called  "The  Knowledge  Box." 

In  the  summer  of  1873,  the  first  graduation  class  consisting 
of  two  brothers,  Edwin  G.  and  Thomas  D.  Goodell,  went  out. 
What  a  wonderful  beginning!  These  young  men  entered  Yale 
College,  from  which  they  graduated  in  1877  with  distinguished 
honor.  Thomas  D.  was  appointed  master  of  the  Hartford  Gram- 
mar School  in  1877,  being  thus  also  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  Hart- 
ford Public  High  School.     He  held  the  position  of  Hopkins  Gram- 


mar  School  master  for  eleven  years,  in  1888  becoming  a  professor 
in  Yale  University. 

Judge  G.  W.  West  tells  a  good  story  of  that  graduation  at  a 
Rockville  High  School  Reunion  fifteen  years  later  at  White's  Opera 
House.     Said  he: 

"There  was  a  sort  of  spasm  of  economy  in  1873.  I 
felt  that  the  graduates  must  be  given  diplomas.  The  cost 
would  be  about  two  dollars.  I  thought  I  could  save  a 
little  to  the  town  by  having  the  diplomas  engrossed.  So 
I  got  a  young  man  in  Hartford  to  do  it.  He  executed 
them  in  a  very  artistic  manner,  but  charged  me  eleven  dol- 
lars. Of  course,  I  paid  it  very  cheerfully,  and  never  asked 
for  re-embursement  from  any  source.  I  felt  satisfied  that 
I  had  got  my  money's  worth,  if  not  in  diplomas,  surely  in 
experience.     Thereafter  the  diplomas  were  printed." 

In  the  fall  of  1874  an  entrance  examination  to  the  High  School 
was  established.  This  required  a  knowledge  of  the  usual  gram- 
mar school  studies.  At  the  same  time,  a  course  was  made  out  for 
the  High  School,  a  thing  which  it  had  been  found  practically  im- 
possible to  maintain  before  the  entrance  examination.  This  course 
was  designed  to  give  simply  an  outline  of  what  was  studied  there. 
It  has  been  slightly  changed  from  time  to  time  as  experience  in  its 
working  has  seemed  to  demand.  Rather  more  attention  is  given 
to  arithmetic  and  general  history  than  in  the  first  draft.  The  ef- 
fect has  been  to  make  the  work  easier  and  more  useful  as  scholars 
are  taken  at  an  early  age,  and  as  the  school  year  is  not  long,  the 
course  was  made  to  occupy  five  years. 

In  1875,  January  15,  voted  "to  partition  off  the  upper  story  of 
the  new  school  building  into  four  rooms,  and  to  purchase  new  and 
larger  seats  for  the  High  School  room,  taking  those  now  in  use 
there  for  the  new  rooms  made  as  above."  Much  comment  was 
made  at  the  installation  of  the  desks.  These  desks  had  a  type  of 
cover  that  lifted  up  so  that  it  was  perpendicular  to  the  desk  proper. 
The  board  of  education  and  the  teachers  were  concerned  about  the 
shield  that  such  a  desk  would  offer  a  student,  if  he  should  open  it 
up.  The  learned  educators  thought  that  these  pieces  of  furniture 
would  "conceal  the  class  sleepers,  idlers  and  mischief  makers." 
Later,  the  faculty  agreed  that  the  desks  were  completely  satisfac- 
tory and  the  flimsy  little  protestations  passed  off  like  April  showers. 

In    1877,   the   school    issued    a    small   publication    called    the 


"R.H.S.",  which  made  comment  about  different  phases  of  school 
life — Logic,  Latin,  Greek,  etc. — The  pupils  had  to  attend  school 
five  and  one-half  days  per  week,  three  hours  per  half  day — Teach- 
ers strict,  study  periods  unheard  of — School  Saturdays. 

The  School  Report  for  1877  discloses: 

Number  of  children  January  1,  1877 — 1746,  an  in- 
crease of  103  over  the  previous  year.  A  new  primary 
department  has  been  opened  in  the  East  District.  There 
are  now  in  the  Town  26  schools  or  departments — 13  in  the 
East  District,  six  in  the  West  District,  2  in  the  Southwest, 
and  one  in  each  of  the  other  districts. 

In  June,  1877,  action  was  taken  looking  toward  a  new  mode 
of  heating  the  school  rooms:  "It  is  desirable  that  something  be 
done  speedily  to  avoid  the  present  necessity  of  breathing  air  heav- 
ily charged  with  coal  gas." 

In  1878  the  number  of  school  children  in  the  town  of  Vernon 
was  1606—870  in  the  East  District,  383  in  the  West,  110  in  the 
Northwest,  109  in  the  Northeast,  52  in  the  South,  40  in  the  Center, 
23  in  the  Southeast  and  19  in  the  Southwest. 

In  June  of  1878,  the  Board  of  Education  voted  "to  reduce 
the  salaries  of  the  lady  teachers  of  the  town  fifteen  per  cent,  and 
ordered  that  not  over  $1200  be  paid  to  the  principal  of  the  High 
School  and  $800  to  the  principal  at  the  West  District."  The  West 
District  at  their  school  meeting  voted  "to  retain  their  principal,  Mr. 
Haywood,  at  $1,000,  appropriating  the  necessary  $200  from  the 
District  treasury."    They  had  been  paying  $1,200. 

The  comely  and  convenient  schoolhouse  at  Talcottville,  the 
noble  gift  of  the  Talcott  Brothers,  was  fittingly  dedicated  on  Fri- 
day, August  27,  1880.  Exercises  of  an  interesting  character  con- 
sisted of  remarks  by  C.  D.  Talcott,  Esq.,  brief  addresses  by  Secre- 
tary Northrop,  Mr.  Northens  of  New  Britain,  Rev.  Mr.  Day  and 
Mr.  Gardner  Talcott,  of  Talcottville,  Recitations  by  Miss  Sudella 
Peck  of  Bristol,  and  singing  by  the  Talcottville  Glee  Club.  E.  W. 
Moore,  Esq.,  presided. 

The  East  District  of  Vernon  was  still  in  1884  charged  with 
maintaining  the  Rockville  High  School.  The  public  schools  of  the 
district  were  divided  into  four  departments:  The  primary  depart- 
ment included  grades  first  to  fourth  inclusive;  the  intermediate 
grades  five,  six  and  seven;  the  grammar  department  grades  eight 




and   nine.     The  high   school  studies  were   now  covered  in   four 
years,  and  were  arranged  into  a  Business  and  Classical  course. 

On  June  21,  1888,  91  had  through  the  years  graduated  from 
the  school,  and  the  first  reunion  was  held  in  White's  Opera  House. 
Five  years  later,  September  5,  1893,  the  second  reunion  was  held 
in  the  town  hall,  with  a  graduate  list  of  150.  After  a  lapse  of  thir- 
teen years  an  Alumni  Association  was  formed,  and  the  first  re- 
union of  the  Association  was  held  on  June  20,  1906,  with  435 

1884  FALL  TERM 

First — Arithmetic,  Physical  Geography,  English  Grammar,  Spelling 
Second — Algebra,  Physiology,  Bookkeeping  or  Latin  lessons 
Third — Algebra,  Virgil,  Anabasis,  Greek  Prose 
Fourth — Cicero,  Homer's  Iliad,   Greek  History 


First — Arithmetic,  Physical  geography,  English  Grammar,  Spelling 
Second — Algebra,  Physiology,  Bookkeeping  or  Latin  lessons 
Third — Algebra,  Natural  Philosophy,  German  or  Caesar 
Fourth — English  History,  Astronomy,  Political  Economy  or  Virgil 


Wm.  W.  Ames,  Yale  graduate  at  the  re-union  in  a  drily  de- 
licious speech,  told  of  his  graduating  class  in  1883  that  15  gallons 
of  lemonade  were  prepared  and  none  was  left;  no  one  had  any 
but  the  ten  members  of  the  class. 

In  1888  the  local  press  made  this  appeal — "The  churches  of 
the  village  have  kindly  given  the  use  of  their  audience  rooms  to 
the  exercises  connected  with  the  High  School  graduation.  It  is 
only  asked  that  the  public  do  not  abuse  the  privilege.  It  is  re- 
quested this  year  that  tobacco  chewers  forego  their  habit  of  de- 
filing the  carpet  with  the  juice  of  the  weed." 

On  September  6,  1890,  voted  to  purchase  the  lot  on  the  corner 
of  School  and  Park  Streets  from  the  Union  Ecclesiastical  Society 
at  a  cost  not  to  exceed  $7,000  for  a  town  High  School. 

At  the  annual  Town  Meeting,  October  6,  1890,  it  was  voted 
that  a  committee  of  five  be  appointed  to  procure  plans,  specifica- 
tions and  estimate  of  cost  for  the  erection  of  a  High  School  build- 
ing and  report  at  some  future  meeting.  On  this  committee  were 
appointed  E.  S.  Henry,  H.  L.  James,  A.  P.  Hammond,  S.  G.  Risley 
and  A.  R.  Goodrich. 

On  August  15,  1891,  a  special  meeting  of  the  town  voted  "that 
the  Town  within  a  reasonable  time  cause  to  be  erected  on  the 
site  now  owned  by  the  town  on  the  corner  of  Park  and  School 
Streets  in  Rockville  a  Public  High  School  Building,  substantially 
according  to  the  plans  submitted  and  recommended  by  the  com- 
mittee, and  an  appropriation  is  hereby  made  of  $50,000  to  defray 
the  cost  of  said  building,  and  the  selectmen  are  instructed  to  pro- 
vide such  sum  of  fifty  thousand  dollars  subject  to  the  order  of  the 
building  committee  to  be  hereby  appointed."  The  contract  was 
awarded  to  Messrs.  G.  Arnold  &  Son. 

The  dedication  of  the  High  School,  corner  of  Park  and  School 
Streets  was  held  on  Tuesday,  September  5,  1893.  Dr.  A.  R.  Good- 
rich presided.  The  audience  taxed  the  splendid  assembly  room.  The 
High  School  is  a  handsome,  commodious  building  of  the  Renais- 
sance style  of  architecture,  with  a  large  tower  on  the  southwest 
or  street  corner  and  heavy  arched  entrances  on  both  the  Park 
Street  and  School  Street  fronts. 

There  are  two  stories  above  the  basement.  The  long  lines  of 
the  School  Street  front  are  broken  by  projections  and  a  gable  and 
mullion  window.  The  length  of  the  building  is  120  feet,  with  a 
width  of  57  feet  on  Park  Street  front  and  61  feet  on  the  east  half. 



fi  It  TiiWf   -f-5» 

nfl  11% 

t  ih!  filing 

f  .     r  t '  r   r 


The  ground  floor,  west  front,  has  a  hallway  flanked  on  the 
south  by  a  classroom  23  x  23;  on  the  left  by  an  office  10  x  12,  and 
capacious  cloak  rooms,  one  for  each  sex.  The  main  schoolroom  in 
the  rear  is  51  x  S8y2  feet  with  a  capacity  for  200  pupils.  Both  hall- 
ways have  staircases  leading  to  the  second  floor. 

On  the  second  floor  are  two  classrooms  25  x  25  and  one  in 
front  261/2  x  31.  There  is  also  a  library  room  23  x  33;  a  teacher's 
room  15  feet  square;  a  physical  laboratory  25  x  25  and  a  chemical 
laboratory  of  the  same  size.  The  physical  laboratory  was  equipped 
with  an  abundance  of  glass  cases  and  drawers.  The  finest  slate 
blackboards  were  a  joy  to  the  instructors  and  a  boon  to  the  pupils. 


Solo,    selected Miss   Grace   A.    Smith 

Historical  Address Dr.  A.  R.  Goodrich 

Solo,  selected .Miss  Delia  M.  Presbrey 

Address — "Struggles  and  Growth  of  the  Rockville  High  School" 

Hon.  E.  S.  Henry 
Reading  by  Professor  Hibbard,  New  Britain 

Dedicatory  Prayer Rev.   James  Dingwell 

Solo,  selected .    Miss  Bessie  C.  Durfee 

Brief  addresses  by  members  of  the  School  Board  and  other  citizens 

Music — Singing  of  "America" By  Assembly 

Benediction Rev.   E.  W.   Potter 

Opening  of  Building  to  the  Public. 


On  October  19,  1893,  the  Evening  School  was  conducted  under 
difficulty  because  250  had  applied  for  instruction  when  at  the  ut- 
most one  hundred  had  been  provided  for.  A  month  later  it  was 
reported  "there  are  now  375  pupils  in  the  night  school."  On  Oc- 
tober 1,  1894,  $1,000  was  voted  to  establish  and  maintain  an  Eve- 
ning School. 

An  editorial  of  Thursday,  December  6,  1894,  stated: 

"It  is  time  to  call  a  halt  on  increasing  elaborateness 
and  expense  attending  the  "receptions"  and  other  cere- 
monies of  graduating  classes  in  the  High  School.  Class 
receptions,  class  pins,  class  pictures,  class  rings,  reception 
and  graduation  gowns,  and  other  things  come  thick  and 
fast.     Let  it  be  stopped!     They  have  gone  far  enough!" 

Principal  Isaac  M.  Agard  (1888-1906)  had  a  new  feature  for 
the  report  cards  in  1896.  That  year  was  a  blank  on  one  side  for 
the  parents  to  fill  out,  stating  just  what  time  was  spent  by  the  stu- 
dent in  school  work  at  home  each  month. 

In  1896  warm  debates  were  held  on  weighty  subjects:  that 
women  should  be  allowed  the  right  of  suffrage;  that  it  would  be 
beneficial  to  the  property  owners  of  Rockville  to  repeal  the  city 

On  Thursday,  June  4,  1898,  a  special  town  meeting  acted  on 
the  proposition  to  increase  the  Board  of  School  Visitors  for  the 
town  of  Vernon  from  six  to  nine.  A  large  meeting  in  the  town 
hall  voted  for  increase  223,  against  154,  blanks  3,  total  vote  380. 


During  the  period  of  1890  to  1896  Professor  J.  P.  Regan,  a 
local  resident,  who  lived  with  his  parents  on  Windsor  Avenue, 
had  just  prior  to  that  period  graduated  from  the  famous  Penn- 
manship  College  operated  by  Zaner  &  Bloser,  at  Columbus,  Ohio, 
recognized  as  two  of  America's  finest  penmen. 

Professor  Regan  was  engaged  to  teach  in  the  local  schools,  and 
in  addition  to  a  very  small  fee  paid  by  the  town  for  his  services, 
he  was  allowed  the  use  of  a  school  room  in  the  East  District  to 
teach  evening  classes  at  $1.50  for  ten  lessons. 

John  P.  Regan  was  a  real  artist  and  in  addition  to  teaching  in 
the  schools,  and  private  lessons,  he  executed  in  masterly  style  Reso- 
lutions, Testimonials  and  high  class  pen  work  of  varied  forms.  He 
is  still  affectionately  remembered  by  a  great  many  townspeople 
and  former  students  who  studied  with  him. 


In  1894  Professor  Regan  was  signally  honored  by  the  manage- 
ment of  the  Chicago  World's  Fair,  being  selected  from  among  hun- 
dreds of  the  country's  finest  penmen  to  exhibit  his  work  at  the 
fair.  His  exhibit  included  specimens  of  the  penmanship  of  a  fifteen 
year  old  pupil,  John  N.  Keeney.  The  framed  exhibit  was  later 
displayed  in  the  window  of  the  Ellen  Wilson  Drug  Store  in  Park- 
Place,  in  the  Citizen's  Block,  now  the  Schaeffer  Market. 


First  Meeting  High  School  Committee,  Rockville,  June  20, 

The  selectmen  A.  P.  Dickinson  and  A.  J.  Cunningham  appeared 
in  person  and  informed  the  Board  of  Education  that  they  had  ap- 
pointed the  following  named  persons  as  a  High  School  Committee 
for  one  year  or  until  the  Town  voted  for  a  High  School  Committee: 

A.  R.  Goodrich,  James  Dingwell,  A.  M.  Gibson,  Wm.  V.  Mc- 
Nerney  and  W.  B.  Foster  were  named  as  that  committee.  Dr. 
A.  R.  Goodrich  was  a  prominent  physician,  and  a  member  of  the 
School  Visiting  Committee  for  many  years. 

The  above  named  persons  met  in  the  town  clerk's  office  on 
the  above  named  date  and  the  following  officers  were  elected: 

A.  R.  Goodrich,  President 
W.  B.  Foster,  Secretary 
A.  M.  Gibson,  Auditor 

Second  Meeting  of  the  High  School  Committee  took  place  in 
the  Town  Clerk's  office  June  27,  1893.  It  was  voted  to  hire  the 
following  named  persons  as  teachers  for  the  coming  year  on  the 
following  terms: 

Principal  I.  M.  Agard  $1500.00 

Miss  A.  Henry  630.00 

Miss  F.  Kingsbury  450.00 

Miss  Sadie  Lake  450.00 

Voted  that  James  Dingwell,  W.  B.  Foster  and  I.  M.  Agard  be 
a  committee  to  purchase  supplies,  books,  maps,  etc.,  for  the  High 
School.    Voted  that  38  weeks  be  a  school  year.    Voted  that  W.  B. 


Foster  purchase  the  coal  and  hire  a  janitor,  the  salary  of  janitor  not 
to  exceed  $500  per  year.  Voted  that  the  tuition  for  attendance  of 
out  of  town  scholars  shall  be 

Fall  Term  $10 

Winter  Term  8 

Spring  Term  7 

At  the  annual  Town  Meeting  October  2,  1893,  the  following 
were  elected  on  the  High  School  Committee  in  accordance  with 
Senate  Bill  No.  20:  E.  Stevens  Henry,  Elbridge  K.  Leonard,  Wil- 
liam Maxwell,  Frederick  W.  Walsh,  and  Frederick  Hartenstein. 

In  1894  the  subject  of  vaccination  was  agitating  the  minds  of 
people,  and  many  physicians  and  more  laymen  resisted  the  en- 
forced vaccination  of  their  children  because  of  the  danger  of  in- 
troducing into  their  systems  unsafe  virus. 

The  town  of  Vernon  in  1899  voted  to  place  its  schools  under 
town  management,  and  in  less  than  a  month  demonstrated  the  in- 
stability  of  human  opinion  by  rescinding  its  previous  action.  Under 
consolidation  all  the  schools  of  the  town  would  be  under  one  gen- 
eral committee. 

The  Board  of  Education  in  1902  voted  unanimously  "to  allow 
no  children  to  attend  the  public  school  of  Vernon  after  September 
8  without  being;  vaccinated  or  without  ha  vino;  a  certificate  from  a 
reputable  physician  of  the  Town  of  Vernon,  certifying  that  the 
child  is  not  a  fit  subject  for  vaccination."  This  resolution  met 
with  lively  opposition  from  anti-vaccinationists,  and  in  the  last  week 
of  February,  1904,  they  opened  a  private  school  in  the  Wesleyan 
Hall  in  the  rear  of  the  Methodist  Church.  It  started  with  25  pupils 
and  increased  to  75. 

On  October  6,  1902,  the  following  definite  step  was  taken: 
"Resolved  that  the  Board  of  Education  is  hereby  re- 
quested neither  to  abridge  nor  restrict  the  right  of  any 
pupil  to  attend  any  public  school  under  its  jurisdiction 
by  reason  of  said  pupil  not  being  vaccinated  or  by  the 
failure  of  any  such  pupil  to  comply  with  any  order  or 
regulation  from  any  source  relating  to  vaccination." 

At  a  Reunion  of  the  High  School  in  1911,  Fred  H.  Holt  pre- 
sided and  reminiscently  remarked:  "Some  of  us  would  prefer  to 
meet  tonight  in  yonder  old  High  School  room  (1819)  with  its 
much  talked  of  historic  ceiling,  its  small  class  rooms,  and  the  very 


platform  on  which  we  were  tortured  on  many  a  Wednesday  after- 
noon for  the  cause  of  rhetoric." 

November  12,  1914,  The  Board  of  School  Visitors  at  their  No- 
vember meeting  reported  "1820  children  of  school  age,  and  365 
children  attend  no  school." 

A  terrible  epidemic  of  Spanish  influenza  swept  through  43 
States  of  the  Union  in  1918.  The  Rockville  High  School  became  a 
temporary  hospital.  There  were  1200  to  1500  cases  in  the  city 
of  influenza  and  pneumonia  and  35,000  cases  in  the  State  of  Con- 
necticut. A  large  tent  from  the  State  Armory  was  set  up  on  the 
Green  in  Talcott  Park,  then  moved  to  the  lawn  of  Dr.  T.  F.  Rock- 
well, who  rendered  yeoman  service.  125  patients  were  treated, 
and  23  died. 

In  October,  1918,  the  Rockville  High  School  building  was 
taken  over  by  the  citizens  and  transformed  into  an  emergency  hos- 
pital for  the  care  of  the  hundreds  of  people  ill  with  Spanish  in- 

At  a  special  town  meeting  November  4,  1918, 

"Resolved  that  $2500  be  appropriated  by  the  Town 
for  the  purpose  of  defraying  in  part  expenses  of  emergency 
hospital  during  the  prevalence  of  the  influenza  epidemic 
through  the  Red  Cioss." 

Rockville  Hio-fi  School  was  the  recipient  of  a  valuable  Indian 
Totem  Pole  on  Wednesday,  November  24,  1920,  given  by  the  Max- 
well familv,  in  memory  of  Robert  Maxwell,  of  the  Class  of  1883. 
The  gift,  five  feet  in  height,  is  an  extremely  rare  specimen.  Inci- 
dentally, the  significance  of  Indian  totem  poles  is  generally  over- 
looked. They  record  the  family  and  tribal  history,  describe  im- 
portant events  and  monuments  to  the  fame  or  ill-repute  of  out- 
standing individuals.  They  are  more  than  objects  of  religious 

There  were  appropriate  exercises  in  the  afternoon  of  Friday, 
April  21,  1939,  when  several  trees  were  dedicated  on  the  East 
School  grounds.  A  tree  of  special  interest  was  a  Rock  Maple 
given  by  the  East  School  and  planted  in  memory  of  the  former 
Superintendent  of  Schools,  Herbert  O.  Clough.  Mr.  Philip  M. 
Howe  paid  tribute.  Other  trees  were  two  maples  given  bv  the 
Veterans  of  Foreign  Wars;  one  a  Schwedler  maple  given  bv  Mrs. 
D.  L.  Hondlow  in  memory  of  her  son,  Elbridge  K.  Leonard,  and 


the  other  a  Rock  maple  given  by  Mrs.  Julius  Beer,  in  memory  of 
her  husband;  also  a  Schwedler  maple  was  given  by  Miss  Bessie 
Durfee  in  memory  of  her  sister,  Miss  Delia  B.  Durfee,  a  teacher 
for  many  years  in  the  East  School  District. 

The  old  Grammar  School  building  at  East  District,  erected  in 
1849,  was  removed  by  the  vote  of  citizens  in  1937. 

At  a  special  Town  meeting  Tuesday,  August  18,  1942: 

"Be  it  resolved  by  the  voters  of  the  Town  of  Vernon 
in  Town  meeting  assembled  that  the  town  accept  with 
thanks  the  offer  of  Talcott  Brothers  to  give  the  school 
buildings  and  grounds  situated  in  Talcottville,  which  have 
hitherto  been  rented  by  the  town,  to  the  town  to  own  and 
operate  as  a  school  building  on  this  condition — that  if  at 
any  time  the  town  should  permanently  cease  to  use  this 
property  for  school  purposes,  it  shall  revert  to  Talcott 

On  May  24,  1945,  the  town  decided  to  convey  by  deed  to  the 
American  Legion,  Stanley  Dobosz  Post  No.  14,  Inc.,  a  certain  piece 
or  parcel  of  land  situated  on  the  easterly  side  of  East  Street,  ap- 
proximately 350  feet  front  and  500  feet  deep,  to  erect  a  club  house, 
grounds  for  athletics,  recreational  and  parking  purposes. 

At  the  November  monthly  meeting,  1945,  the  Board  of  Educa- 
tion voted  "to  turn  back  the  Dobsonville  School  building  to  the 
Selectmen;  the  building  had  outlived  its  usefulness  as  a  school." 

On  December  18,  1945,  The  Vernon  Fire  Company,  No.  2, 
was  granted  the  use  of  the  Dobsonville  School  House  for  recrea- 
tional purposes. 

Miss  Bessie  Durfee,  a  beloved  teacher  in  the  Town  of  Vernon 
for  nearly  fifty  years,  left  Trust  Fund  of  approximately  $25,000: 
.    .    .    to  be  used  for  relief  for  the  grade  school  chil- 
dren of  the  town  of  Vernon  with  priority  being  given  to 
treatment   and   hospitalization   for   eye,   nose    and   throat 
troubles;  to  be  administered  by  a  Committee  appointed  by 
the  Business  Committee  of  Union  Congregational  Church. 

During  many  years  of  teaching,  Miss  Durfee  saw  boys  and 
girls  held  back  by  these  diseases  because  parents  did  not  have 
means  to  give  them  proper  treatment.  This  fund  is  available  to 
every  race,  creed  and  nationality. 


On  November  II,  1903,  George  Sykes  made  a  bequest  pro- 
viding a  fund  for  the  foundation  of  the  George  Svkcs  Manual 
Training  School: 

"I  give  and  bequeath  to  Francis  T.  Maxwell,  William 
H.  Prescott,  Charles  Phelps,  David  A.  Sykes,  and  J.  Henry 
McCray,  all  of  the  city  of  Rockville,  County  of  Tolland. 
State  of  Connecticut,  the  sum  of  one  hundred  thousand 
dollars  in  perpetual  trust,  to  them  and  their  successors  in 
office,  for  the  purpose  of  establishing  and  maintaining  at 
said  city  of  Rockville,  a  Manual  Training  School  for  the 
instruction  of  boys  in  manual  labor,  including  drafting, 
carpentering,  plumbing,  all  kinds  of  electrical  work,  phys- 
ical culture  and  all  other  branches  of  manual  training  com- 
monly taught  in  such  schools." 

The  thought  of  such  a  Manual  Training  School  was  inspired  in 
the  mind  of  George  Sykes,  when  he  was  a  young  and  struggling 
student.    As  a  boy  in  a  little  mill  in  Vermont,  he  worked  long  hours 




for  small  wages.  During  what  leisure  time  he  had,  he  was  as 
fond  of  baseball  and  other  pastimes  as  any  other  bow  but  he  had 
an  ambition  to  "get  on."  to  become  an  overseer,  a  designer,  and 
maybe  a  manufacturer.  So  he  used  to  walk  (he  could  not  afford 
even  the  chief  livery  service  of  those  davs )  to  the  next  town  where 
he  knew  a  mill  man.  "Joe  Wade."  who  gave  him  lessons  in  drafting 
and  analyzing  the  different  makes  of  cloth.  At  home,  after  the 
long  mill  hours,  he  studied  bv  the  light  of  the  kerosene  lamp,  in- 
deed, his  close  application  was  such  that  his  evesight  became  tem- 
porarily  impaired,  but  he  had  already  attained  sufficient  skill  to 
become  an  overseer  of  weaving  at  the  age  of  21.  and  soon  there- 
after  he  became  a  superintendent. 

He  was  determined  to  try  to  lighten  the  handicaps  of  others, 
and  provide  a  school  where  bovs  might  learn  a  trade,  whether  tex- 
tile or  mechanical,  and  in  his  will  he  left  the  sum  of  $100,000  in 
trust  to  serve  as  a  foundation  for  a  school  which  should  give  to  the 
vouth  of  Vernon  and  Rockville  benefits  he  had  sought  in  his  vouth 
and  obtained  against  great  odds. 

In  1907.  Mrs.  Charles  Phelps,  daughter  of  George  Sykes,  ten- 
dered to  the  Trustees  of  the  Svkes  Manual  Training  School  deeds 
of  the  Skinner  and  Bill  property  for  a  site  for  the  erection  of  a 
manual  training  school.  No  better  site  could  be  obtained.  The 
Skinner  property  had  a  frontage  of  99  feet  and  a  depth  of  165  feet 
and  the  Bill  property  was  about  60  x  100  feet.  Frank  Skinner  was 
the  town  clerk  and  Benezet  H.  Bill  was  a  lawyer. 

Under  the  care  of  the  trustees,  and  added  to  bv  generous  gifts 
from  the  Svkes  family  and  bequests  from  the  Max-well  and  Pr es- 
cort estates,  in  the  20  years  since  the  establishment  of  the  fund,  it 
has  increased  largely. 

In  the  fall  of  1923.  the  School  Committee  of  the  Town  of 
Vernon,  moved  bv  the  pressure  of  increased  numbers  in  the  High 
School,  approached  the  trustees  with  a  proposition  that  if  they 
would  erect  a  building  which  would  house  the  proposed  Manual 
Training  School  contemplated  bv  Mr.  Svkes.  and  the  Rockville 
High  School,  the  committee  would  endeavor  to  persuade  the  town 
to  take  over  from  the  trustees  the  task  of  maintaining  such  branches 
in  the  combined  school  as  would  satisfy  the  intention  of  Mr.  Svkes 
in  projecting  the  school. 

After  a  series  of  conferences  between  the  trustees  and  the 
school  committee  an   agreement  was   entered  into  between  them 


which  was  ratified  by  the  town  at  a  special  meeting  on  November 
19,  1923.  By  this  agreement  the  trustees  agreed  to  erect  a  school 
building  at  a  cost  of  -$250,000  which  sum  was  considerably  in- 
creased later  to  house  the  combined  school,  while  the  Town  of 
Vernon  agreed  to  equip  and  maintain  the  school.  Under  the  agree- 
ment the  Trustees  gave  the  free  use  of  the  building  for  a  term  of 
25  years,  which  time  mav  be  extended  if  the  combination  works 

The  trustees  agreed  further  to  keep  the  building  in  repair, 
and  to  give  the  running  of  the  Manual  Training  branches  into  the 
hands  of  the  school  committee,  reserving  the  right  to  intercede  if 
the  interest  of  the  Will  was  at  any  time  in  danger  of  not  being 
carried  out. 

The  total  cost  of  the  building  to  the  trustees  was  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  $300,000.  The  building  and  equipment  provide  a  gym- 
nasium, machine  shop,  woodworking  shop,  forge  shop,  an  audi- 
torium to  accommodate  816  persons,  a  library,  science  rooms,  do- 
mestic science  rooms,  offices,  and  fifteen  regular  class  rooms. 

On  November  29,  1923,  ground  was  broken  for  the  new  school. 
and  cornerstone  exercises  were  held  the  following  year  on  Satur- 
day, April  24. 


Music — Governor's  Foot  Guard  Band 
Foreword  and  reading  of  the  Fourth  Paragrph  of  the 
Codicil  of  the  Will  of  the  late  George  Sykes 

Charles  Phelps,  President 
Vocal  Music — "We  Cheer  and  March  Away" Bellini 

School  Chorus 
Remarks,  F.  S.  Nettleton,  Chairman  Town  School  Committee 
Reading  List  of  Contents  of  Box 

Francis  T.  Maxwell,  Vice-President 
Vocal   Music — "March   Song  of   Stark's   Men" Whelply 

School  Chorus 

Laying  of  the  Cornerstone David  A.  Sykes,  Secretary 

Music — Governor's  Foot  Guard  Band 

Address — Rev.  Percy  E.  Thomas,  Lowell,  Massachusetts 

Singing — "America" — Accompanied  by  Band 
Concert  by  the  Band. 

The  George  Svkes  Manual  Training  and  High  School  was 
dedicated  on  Thursday  evening,  Februarv  5,  1925,  and  in  spite  of 
extravagant  weather  and  a  severe  blizzard  that  was  sweeping  the 
city,  the  auditorium  of  the  building  was  filled  almost  to  its  capacity. 

Exercises  were  held  in  the  large  and  spacious  auditorium. 



Chairman John  E.  Fahey,  Judge  of  Probate  1905-1928 

Music    Hatch's  Orchestra 

Prayer Rev.  F.  P.  Bacheler 

Song — "Triumphal  March"  from  "Aida" High  School  Chorus 

Introductory  Remarks  by  the  Chairman 
Presentations : 

To  the  Trustees — Willard  F.  Peck,  The  H.  Wales  Lines  Company 
To  the  School  Committee — Hon.  Charles  Phelps 

President  of  the  Trustees 

Acceptance — Sherwood  C.  Cummings,  Chairman  of  School 


Selection     Orchestra 

Remarks Ex-Governor  Everett  J.  Lake 

Song — "Carmena"   (Wilson) High  School  Chorus 

Address — Dr.  Albert  B.  Meredith,  State  Commissioner  of  Education 
Singing — "America"     Audience 

A  bronze  tablet  3  x  2  ft.  given  by  the  Trustees  of  the  George 
Sykes  Memorial  School  is  placed  at  the  entrance  in  the  school  with 
the  following  inscription: 


Dedicated  1925 

Founded  by  George  Sykes  with  the 
Cooperation  of  his  family 

Mrs.  Sarah  A.  Sykes 

Mrs.  Lizzie  Sykes  Bond 

Mrs.  Elsie  Sykes  Phelps 

Mrs.  Eva  Sykes  Lake 

Additional  Bequests  and  Gifts  made  by 

Robert  Maxwell 

Mrs.  Celia  E.  Prescott 

Mrs.  Harriet  K.  Maxwell 

Original  Trustees 

Charles  Phelps,  Francis  T.  Maxwell, 

William  H.  Prescott,  David  A.  Sykes, 

J.  Henry  McCray 

Trustees  Elected 

George  E.  Sykes,  1909 
Howard  I.  Wood,  1937 


When  the  next  historian  writes  the  chronicle  of  the  twentieth 
century  in  Rockville,  and  records  the  achievements  of  her  sons  and 
daughters,  he  will,  no  doubt  begin  with  names  like  these:  Benja- 
min C.  Nangle,  Anna  R.  Maskel,  and  the  Pearl  Brothers,  George 
and  Sam.  For  the  early  years  of  these  graduates  of  Rockville  High 
School  show  promise  of  greater  fame. 

Benjamin  C.  Nangle  was  graduated  from  Rockville  High 
School  in  1917  and  immediately  entered  Yale  University,  from 
which  school  he  graduated  in  1921.  During  the  college  year  1821- 
22  he  was  an  instructor  in  English  at  Yale-in-China.  He  returned 
to  New  Haven  and  entered  the  graduate  school,  receiving  his 
Ph.D.,  in  1927.  He  was  an  assistant  in  the  English  Department 
until  1924  when  he  received  an  appointment  as  an  instructor. 
Four  years  later  he  was  promoted  to  assistant  professor  and  to 
associate  professor  in  1937.  In  addition,  he  has  taught  English 
at  Albertus  Magnus  College  in  New  Haven. 

Anna  R.  Maskel,  who  characterizes  her  poems  as  "small  fire- 
fly flashes  in  the  night,"  was  graduated  from  Rockville  High  School 
in  1924.  New  York  University  granted  her  the  B.S.  degree  in  1932, 
and  Columbia  followed  with  its  M.A.,  in  1943.  In  the  summers  of 
1945  and  1946,  she  took  Advanced  study  at  Yale.  In  1935  "Wild 
Stubble,"  and  in  1937  "From  Fallow,"  were  published  by  Bruce 
Humphries,  Inc.,  of  Boston.  These  books  of  poetry  have  been  sup- 
plemented by  articles  printed  in  "Progressive  Education,"  "Con- 
necticut Teacher,"  "Education  Digest,"  "Connecticut  University 
News,"  and  the  Hartford  Times.  She  is  now  serving  as  Assistant 
Professor  of  Education  at  New  Haven  Teachers  College. 

George  and  Samuel  W.  Pearl  were  both  graduates  of  Rockville 
High  School  in  the  classes  of  1928  and  1929  respectively.  Sam 
was  the  Salutatorian  of  the  class  of  1929,  and  a  graduate  with  B.A. 
degree  from  Yale  College  in  1935,  and  from  the  Yale  Law  School 
in  1938.  Succeeding  to  the  business  of  their  father,  Benjamin 
Pearl,  who  started  operations  in  1931,  the  two  high  school  grad- 
uates have  built  up  a  large  gasoline  and  oil  business  with  capaci- 
ties of  18  service  stations  and  more  than  1,000  customers,  a  total 
annual  gallonage  of  5,000,000  of  oil,  and  a  large  fleet  of  tank  and 
delivery  trucks.  In  addition  to  the  highly  successful  operations  of 
the  Pearl  Oil  Company,  the  brothers  have  acquired  rentable  real 
estate  to  enhance  their  increasing  commercial  activities.  Their  suc- 
cess in  a  relatively  few  years  is  an  inspiring  example  to  succeed- 
ing graduates. 


Since  1829,  when  "a  school  of  a  higher  order"  was  established 
in  Vernon,  profound  changes  have  occurred  in  American  educa- 
tion and  have  been  reflected  in  the  local  schools.  During  that 
century  and  a  quarter,  secondary  education  has  become  the  rule 
for  the  majority  of  our  youth,  rather  than  the  exception  for  the 
select  few.  The  disrepute  into  which  child  labor  has  justly  fallen 
and  the  requirements  of  a  more  complex  social  and  economic 
structure  have  combined  to  make  more  extensive  schooling  de- 
sirable and  necessary. 

With  greater  numbers  has  come  wider  divergence  in  attain- 
ment and  purpose.  Thus,  to  the  traditional  curriculum,  whose  chief 
aim  was  to  prepare  for  college,  have  been  added  courses  leading 
more  directly  to  the  vocations,  such  as  industrial  arts,  commercial 
training,  home  economics  and  agriculture,  so  that  students  for 
whom  high  school  is  the  final  phase  of  formal  education  may  be 
ready  to  compete  in  a  highly  technical  society. 

With  the  flood  of  new  students  of  varied  ambitions,  and  a 
multiplicity  of  courses  from  which  to  choose,  there  arose  the  need 
for  expert  educational  and  vocational  advice.  New  occupations, 
created  and  multiplied  by  the  advancement  of  technical  and  scien- 
tific achievement,  demanded  fresh  patterns  of  preparation.  To 
help  the  students  plan  wisely  for  the  life  work  which  best  suited 
them,  the  "guidance"  movement  was  conceived.  When  the  need 
for  such  specialized  teachers  became  apparent  in  Vernon,  staff 
members  were  assigned  to  this  duty.  The  attention  thus  given  to 
the  individual  student  and  the  problems  peculiar  to  him  have 
strengthened  the  fabric  of  education  in  the  school  system  of  the 

Technological  progress  has  increased  the  leisure  time  of  every 
citizen  since  the  days  of  the  first  high  school.  The  schools  have 
kept  pace  with  this  development  by  attempting  to  train  the  student 
to  use  this  time  to  advantage.  Instruction  and  practice  in  sports 
and  the  arts  have  been  introduced.  Basketball,  baseball,  soccer, 
in  the  field  of  sports;  choral  singing,  band,  drawing,  handcrafts, 
dramatics  and  journalism  in  the  arts,  afford  the  student  an  oppor- 
tunity to  acquire  skill  in  activities  from  which  he  may  derive  per- 
sonal satisfaction  throughout  his  life. 

Among  such  activities  may  be  mentioned  the  production  of 
the  "Banner,"  originally  a  literary  magazine  and  yearbook,  now 
solely  a  yearbook  of  the  graduating  class;  also  the  "Bannerette,"  a 
new  publication  formerly  known  as  the  "Cat-o'-Nine  Tales." 



111  addition,  frequent  social  events  aid  the  students  in  acquir- 
ing facility  in  making  plans  and  arrangements,  and  poise  in  par- 
ticipation in  such  situations. 

Assembly  programs  bring  to  the  high  school  motion  pictures, 
speakers,  and  other  types  of  presentations  which  widen  the  stu- 
dent's horizons  by  bringing  him  information  and  ideas  which  give 
significance  to  his  own  experience  or  which  may  be  outside  the 
scope  of  his  present  activities. 

The  high  school  of  today  is  a  far  cry  from  the  "school  of  a 
higher  order"  of  1829.  In  every  stage  of  its  development  it  has 
changed  because  the  society  of  which  it  is  a  part  has  changed.  At 
every  point  its  function  has  been  to  educate  students  to  become 
effective,  useful  and  personally  satisfied  citizens  of  their  town 
and  country. 




-  2 



1931—  90 


-  0 





-  5 



1933—  82 


-  0 





-  0 





-  7 





-  1 





-  5 



1938—  97 


-  7 





-  4 










-  9 





-  9 





-  6 





-  7 





-  9 










-  7 















Randall  Spaulding   1870-72 

Charles  E.  Raymond .  . 1873-74 

Wayland  Spaulding   1874-78 

Douglas   P.   Birnie 1878-80 

J.  Edward  Banta 1880-88 

Issac   M.   Agard 1888-1906 

Harry  B.  Marsh 1908-1912 

Philip   M.   Howe 1912-1945 

Allen  L.  Dresser 1945- 


James  Muir  1915 

Herbert   O.    Clough 1918 

Philip  M.  Howe 1937 

Arthur  E.  Chatterton 1945 



As  early  as  1821,  school  was  kept  in  the  West  District,  then 
known  as  the  Grant  District.  The  pioneer  Grant  family  and  a  few 
other  inhabitants  cut  down  trees  out  of  the  forest,  and  by  the 
stream  built  two  small  mills,  where  later  stood  the  Saxony  mill,  and 
erected  a  small  schoolhouse  for  their  children. 

At  the  dedication  of  the  High  School  in  1393,  Dr.  A.  R.  Good- 
rich, who  was  State  Comptroller  from  1873-1874,  and  State  Treas- 
urer from  1883  to  1885,  reminded  his  audience — 

"My  acquaintance  with  Rockville  extends  back  to  the 
time  when  less  than  200  people  were  residents,  and  all  the 
beautiful  hillsides  were  covered  with  the  primeval  forests. 
There  were  at  that  time  no  schoolhouses,  post  office,  hotels, 
markets  or  saloons.  Previous  to  1836,  there  was  no  school- 
house  in  the  East  School  District.  Children  attended 
school  in  the  Grant  District,  now  called  the  WTest  School 
District.  This  street  was  an  old  settlement  before  Rock- 
ville proper  was  thought  of." 

The  schoolhouse  was  a  storv  and  a  half  building.  In  the 
deep  snow  there  were  no  paths,  and  inside  the  room  in  zero 
weather  there  was  no  steam  heat.  It  was  a  wood  burner  for  a 
stove.  The  scholars  were  glad  to  hug  that  to  keep  warm.  The 
ink  in  the  bottles  froze  and  the  bottles  burst.  The  boys  coming 
into  the  schoolhouse  with  their  cowhide  boots  on  would  make  as 
much  noise  as  a  horse. 

For  a  quarter  of  a  century  the  school  served  a  good  purpose, 
then  was  converted  into  a  soap  factory,  and  later  became  a  com- 
mon barn.  In  November  of  1840,  there  were  enrolled  43  pupils, 
and  the  district  was  called  the  North  District  until  1849. 


On  November  15,  1848,  this  district  refused  to  consolidate  with 
the  Rock  District  in  an  effort  to  build  a  High  School  house,  and 
on  November  27  of  that  year  voted  to  build  a  schoolhouse  on 
what  is  now  Maple  Street,  to  cost  not  more  than  $1,000.  A  com- 
mittee to  select  a  site  was  appointed,  consisting  of  Chauncey  Win- 
chell,  Palmer  Holman  and  Chauncev  Hubbard.  At  a  later  meet- 
ing that  same  committee  was  instructed  to  deal  with  Francis  Grant 



in  the  matter,  and  soon  after  Messrs.  H.  W.  Miner,  A.  Bailey,  George 
Lee,  Christopher  Burdick,  P.  Holman,  Sumner  Tracey  and  A.  Tal- 
cott  were  appointed  "to  drive  stakes  where  to  erect  the  school- 
house."  School  in  the  new  house  was  opened  on  December  1, 

The  schools  increased  rapidly,  and  a  growing  population  de- 
manded enlarged  facilities  and  more  buildings.  The  annual  town 
meeting  in  1893  voted  to  appoint  a  committee  to  look  into  the 
needs  of  the  District,  consisting  of  S.  T.  Noble,  A.  Park  Hammond, 
Henry  Burke,  Charles  Metcalf,  and  F.  R.  Rau.  They  reported  at 
a  special  meeting  the  estimated  cost  of  a  building  30  x  60  feet, 
two  stories  high,  and  were  promptly  instructed  to  go  ahead,  pro- 
cure bids,  and  erect  the  building. 

The  contract  was  awarded  to  G.  Arnold  &  Son  for  $3,500,  and 
the  building  was  erected  in  the  old  coloniel  style,  two  and  a  half 
stories  high,  with  nine  schoolrooms,  a  splendid  hall,  and  two  addi- 
tional rooms  to  be  finished  when  needed. 

The  handsome  building  was  dedicated  in  March,  1894,  and 
the  attendance  was  so  large  the  dedication  exercises  had  to  be 
planned  in  two  entertainments,  first  by  the  more  advanced  pupils 
and  a  little  later  by  the  primary  classes.  Even  the  two  entertain- 
ments were  not  sufficient,  and  a  consolidated  third  was  presented. 
These  exercises  occurred  in  the  hall  of  the  new  building  and 
proved  the  advantages  of  such  a  hall  for  public  gatherings  at  the 
west  end. 

The  ninth  school  was  opened  at  the  beginning  of  1894,  and 
such  was  the  increase  of  pupils  that  a  tenth  school  had  to  be  opened 
on  May  1  of  the  same  year. 


The  West  District  School  building  in  1922  was  generally  re- 
garded as  unsanitary,  old-fashioned,  antique  and  impractical,  and 
a  dangerous  fire-trap.  The  matter  was  brought  to  the  attention 
of  the  town  by  Francis  S.  Nettleton,  chairman  of  the  town  school 
committee,  Francis  T.  Maxwell,  and  superintendent  of  schools, 
H.  O.  Clough,  at  a  meeting  in  the  Town  Hall,  in  the  afternoon  of 
Monday,  October  2,  1922.     It  was  resloved — 

"That  the  town  of  Vernon  shall  build  and  equip  a 
building  for  public  school  purposes  on  the  land  owned  by 
said  Town  at  the  corner  of  Union  and  Maple  Streets  in 
said  town,  said  building  and  equipment  not  to  exceed  one 
hundred  eighteen  thousand  dollars  in  cost;  and  that  the 
Town  School  Committee  as  now  or  hereafter  constituted 
be  and  said  committee  hereby  is  authorized  and  empow- 
ered to  be  and  act  as  agents  of  said  town  in  building  and 
equipment  of  said  school." 




The  new  building  was  substantial  and  practical.  The  work 
was  started  on  March  23,  1923,  with  the  H.  Wales  Lines  Company 
of  Meriden  as  builders,  and  "Walter  B.  Chambers,  of  New  York,  as 
architect.  The  building  is  set  60  feet  back  from  Union  and  Maple 
Streets  at  the  junction,  with  entrances  from  each  street  reached 
bv  concrete  sidewalks.  Over  the  west  entrance  is  the  simple  name, 
"Maple  Street  School."7  At  the  Maple  Street  entrance  is  a  large 
vestibule,  and  to  the  right  of  this  is  the  principal's  room  and  com- 
mittee rooms.  Notable  features  of  the  building  are  large  window 
spaces,  plentv  of  light,  wide  and  ample  corridor  which  runs  the 
whole  length  of  the  building,  sanitary  and  adjustable  desks,  and 
plentv  of  coat  and  closet  room. 

There  was  no  formal  dedication  of  the  building.  It  opened 
after  the  Christmas  recess  on  Wednesday,  January  2,  1924,  and 
the  onlv  public  announcement  made  was  the  report  of  Principal 
McClellan  that  the  teachers  had  moved  into  the  new  building. 
Several  teachers  have  corroborated  this.  They  helped  carry  equip- 
ment from  the  old  building  to  the  new  school. 

The  old  school  had  really  become  a  museum  of  antiquities. 
In  one  room  was  an  old  style  square  piano  in  enormous  contrast 
with  the  small  instrument  put  in  the  kindergarten  room  of  the  new 
building,  an  old  organ  and  the  original  desk  used  for  mere  than 
thirty  vears  bv  Principal  Hayward.  Another  room  in  the  old  build- 
ing was  the  opportunity  room,  instituted  bv  Maple  Street  School 
for  the  amusement  and  manual  training  of  sub-normal  children. 
Here  was  the  handlocm  for  weaving  rugs  and  the  material  for 
chair-caning  and  brush-making.  James  F.  Hendrick,  father  of  ex- 
cellent teachers.  Miss  Anna  B.  and  Mary  Helen,  started  the  course 
of  manual  training  in  the  school  about  the  year  1903. 



E.  Stevens  Henry  Award 
Francis  S.  Nettleton  Award 
Carl  Abrahamson  Award 
Bessie  Durfee  Award 
Florence  Whitlock  Award 
Philip  M.  Howe  Award 


Vitolt  Bagdanovich  Award 

Rockville  High  School  Alumni  Association  Award 

Rockville  Rotary  Club 

Rockville  Exchange  Club 

Rockville  Public  Health  Nursing  Association 

Girls  Club 

Miss  Florence  R.  Whitlock,  a  teacher  in  this  town  for  ever 
thirty  years,  devoted  practically  all  her  life  to  the  welfare  of  boys 
and  girls.     She  bequeathed  in  her  will — 

"One-tenth  (l/10th)  to  the  Town  of  Vernon,  the  same  to  be  de- 
posited in  one  of  the  savings  banks  of  Rockville  and  the  income 
thereof  to  be  used  for  a  first  and  second  prize  to  the  two  scholars 
whose  standing  in  the  high  school  has  been  the  highest  for  the 
four  years." 

Class  of  1953 — Awarded  to  Alesandra  Schmidt  and  June  Tyler 

Class  of  1954 — Awarded  to  Winnifred  Wohllebe  and  Dorothy  Sil- 

"One-tenth  (1/lOth)  to  the  Town  of  Vernon,  the  same  to  be 
deposited  in  one  of  the  savings  banks  of  Rockville  and  the  income 
thereof  to  be  used  for  prizes  in  the  sixth,  seventh  and  eighth  grades 
of  the  East  school,  for  excellence  in  school  work,  the  details  in  rela- 
tion to  the  awarding  of  such  prizes  to  be  left  to  the  superintendent, 
principal  and  teachers  of  these  grades." 

The  first  of  the  Florence  R.  Whitlock  Memorial  Awards  to  the 
East  School  were  presented  bv  Principal  Renwick  J.  Lewis  at 
Graduation,  June  22,  1954: 

Grade  Eight — Barbara  Kluczewski  and  Guv  Crossman 

Grade  Seven — Irene  Lee  and  Paul  Nagy 

Grade  Six — Carolvn  Nagv  and  Harwood  West 



Vernon,  Connecticut 

SUNDAY,  MARCH  30,  1952  —  3:00  P.M. 


Mr.  Franklin  G.  Welles,  Presiding 
Chairman — Vernon  School  Building  Committee 

INVOCATION    Rev.  George  S.  Brookes 

Pastor  Emeritus,  Union  Church 

WELCOME   Mr.  Herbert  I.  Pagani 

First  Selectman,  Town  of  Vernon 

Mr.  John  G.  Talcott,  Jr. 

Chairman,  Vernon  Board  of  Education 

MUSIC   "Steal  Away" — Negro  Spiritual 

"Little  Brown  Church  in  the  Vale" 
Pupils   from   the    Seventh   and   Eighth 
Grades     of     the     Vernon     Elementary 

PRAYER   Rev.  Brendan  Griswold 

Grace  Episcopal  Church,  Newington, 
formerly  Pastor  of  Vernon  Center 
Congregational  Church 


DR.  ENGLEMAN Mrs.   Alice   H.   Hammar 

Secretary,  Vernon  School  Building 




PUBLIC  EDUCATION"    Dr.  Finis  E.  Engleman,  Commissioner 

of  Education  for  the  State  of  Connec- 

PIANO   SOLO    Louis   Meagley,   Vernon   Elementary 

School,  Eighth  Grade 



TO  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION.  .  Mr.  Franklin  G.  Welles  to  Mr.  John  R. 

Gottier,  Chairman  of  the  Building 
Committee  of  the  Board  of  Education 

BENEDICTION Rev.  Forrest  Musser 

Union  Congregational  Church 

TOUR  OF  BUILDING— after  Ceremonies 



The  Vernon  Elementary  School  was  started  October  1,  1950, 
and  occupied  January  3,  1952.  There  are  13  classrooms;  a  cafe- 
teria; an  auditorium;  boys'  and  girls'  shower  and  locker  rooms; 
health  clinic;  library,  and  teachers'  rooms.  There  are  HV2  acres 
in  the  school  site. 

The  total  cost  of  the  building  for  construction,  equipment, 
grading,  and  land  is  $394,000.  There  are  375  children  enrolled  at 
present.  Every  available  classroom  is  utilized.  About  300  chil- 
dren enjoy  a  hot  lunch  every  day  in  the  cafeteria. 



The  chairman  of  the  committee  on  July  7,  1915,  was  Francis 
S.  Nettleton;  Secretary,  S.  Tracy  Noble;  Treasurer,  George  P. 

August  4,  1915 — Salaries  for  the  year:  Principal  Philip  M.  Howe 
$1900;  East  District  (highest)  $18.00  a  week,  lowest  $10.00 
week;  West  District  (highest)  $16.00  a  week,  lowest  $9.00  a 
week.  Voted  by  the  committee  that  salaries  of  grammar  school 
were  not  to  exceed  $900  per  year  after  the  present  year  of  1915. 


September  1,  1915 — Voted  to  engage  James  E.  Muir,  of  Orange, 
New  Jersey,  as  supervisor  of  schools  of  the  town  of  Vernon  for 
one  year  at  a  salary  of  $2,200  per  year. 

Eugene  Stulett's  bid  for  transporting  children  of  South  East 
District  and  New  England  Hill  for  entire  school  year  at  $800. 
The  tuition  of  children  outside  the  town  of  Vernon  $3.00  per 
term,  payable  in  advance. 

October  6,  1915 — Voted  teachers  be  allowed  full  pay  for  absence 
during  illness,  not  to  exceed  ten  days  during  the  year,  upon 
presentation  of  physician's  certificate  of  such  illness.  The  press 
were  allowed  to  attend  meetings. 

November  3,  1915 — Messrs.  Talcott  Brothers,  of  Talcottville,  pre- 
sented an  offer  to  lease  the  present  school  building  in  that 
place  to  the  town  for  the  sum  of  one  hundred  dollars  (100.00) 
per  year,  owners  to  pay  for  janitor  service,  insurance,  and  keep 
building  and  grounds  in  present  good  condition.    Accepted. 

April  5,  1916 — Letter  from  Sabra  Chapter  D.A.R.  offering  assistance 
financially  and  with  a  committee  to  perfect  a  course  in  do- 
mestic science. 

Voted  to  engage  hereafter  as  new  teachers  only  normal  school 
or  college  graduates. 

June  6,  1917 — Volumes  of  specimens  of  children's  penmanship 
which  was  at  the  Centennial  in  1876  be  donated  to  the  Rock- 
ville  Public  Library. 

July  19,  1917 — Voted  that  the  course  in  Domestic  Science  be  intro- 
duced next  year,  teacher  for  same  to  be  engaged. 
New  England  Hill  school  property  be  disposed  of. 

September  5,  1917 — Voted  that  $500  be  a  minimum  salary  for  any 
teacher  next  year. 

October  5,  1917 — That  Evening  School  be  held  four  nights  a  week 
until  75  nights  had  been  completed. 

April  3,  1918 — That  every  teacher  be  given  $30  increase  in  salary 
for  the  present  spring  term,  with  the  exception  of  the  writing 
teacher,  who  shall  receive  $15  in  addition  to  present  salary. 

May  1,  1918 — James  E.  Muir  resigned,  and  Herbert  O.  Clough  was 
engaged  as  Superintendent  of  Schools,  with  a  salary  of  $2750 
for  one  year. 


Tuition  for  out-of-town  pupils  in  the  High  School  be  increased 
to  $65  a  year;  grades  $20  a  year. 

June  5,  1918 — To  adopt  the  proposed  cooperative  High  School  and 
Trade  School  course — the  town  to  pay  half  of  the  pupils'  car 

July  23,  1918 — That  one-half  of  the  car  fare  from  Rockville  to 
Manchester  and  return  be  paid  from  September  1  to  July  1  to 
all  pupils  taking  the  High  School  Trade  School  Cooperative 
Course,  up  to  $40.     The  State  refunds  one-half. 

June  4,  1919 — Voted  to  appropriate  a  sum  not  exceeding  $1,000  for 
replenishing  and  repairing  in  accordance  with  plans  of  the 
High  School  laboratory. 

October  7,  1919 — Mr.  Gibson  T.  Williams,  of  Vernon  Center,  has 
offered  to  paint  the  school  building  in  his  district  at  his  own 

Voted  that  adjustable  seats,  24  in  number,  be  purchased  for 
the  upper  grade  at  Vernon  Depot. 

November  3,  1920 — Plan  of  serving  hot  soup  or  chocolate  at  the 
noon  hour  to  scholars  in  the  grades  who  are  obliged  to  bring 
their  lunch,  50  taking  advantage  from  the  East  and  20  from  the 

May  4,  1921 — Voted  schools  continue  to  observe  standard  time,  but 
open  and  close  one  hour  earlier. 

May  21,  1921 — The  matter  of  making  physical  training  a  definite 
part  of  the  school  curriculum  was  discussed.  Unanimous  in 
favor,  but  under  present  conditions  hiring  of  special  teacher 

September  13,  1921 — Voted  that  registration  for  Evening  School 
be  free  and  one  dollar  be  given  for  perfect  attendance.  There 
are  131  pupils  in  High  School  from  out  of  town  and  147  from 

December  7,  1921 — A  committee  of  three,  consisting  of  Chairman 
Nettleton,  Mr.  Bissell  and  Mr.  Talcott  was  appointed  to  con- 
fer with  the  trustees  of  the  Sykes  Manual  Training  School  if 
so  desired  by  said  trustees. 

January  4,  1922 — Offered  Frank  Meyers  instructor  of  Manual 
training  a  salary  of  $10  per  week  for  one  and  one  half  days' 


April  25,  1922 — Voted  to  enter  a  protest  against  the  granting  of  a 
license  for  the  holding  of  "outdoor  carnivals"  in  the  vicinity 
of  school  buildings,  because  of  the  damage  liable  to  said  build- 
ings and  the  attendant  distraction  of  scholars  from  their  school 

To  the  Trustees  of  the  George  Sykes  Manual  Training  School. 

It  is  currently  reported  that  the  trustees  are  contemplat- 
ing the  erection  in  the  near  future,  of  a  school  building  upon 
their  lot  in  the  center  of  the  city,  approximately  the  site  of  the 
present  High  School  building,  with  a  view  of  carrying  out  the 
instructions  in  the  will  of  the  late  George  Sykes  relating  to  the 
teaching  of  certain  branches  of  Manual  Training.  The  town 
of  Vernon  has  outgrown  its  present  High  School  building  and 
must  in  the  near  future  erect  others,  if  the  present  conditions 

If  we  are  rightly  informed,  the  branches  required  by  the 
will  of  the  late  Mr.  Sykes  to  be  taught  are  those  which  the 
school  committee  believe  ought  to  be  taught  in  every  town, 
and  which  in  a  meager  way  are  now  being  taught  within  the 
limits  available  by  the  High  School.  It  occurred  to  the  mem- 
bers of  the  school  committee  that  perhaps  the  town  of  Vernon 
and  the  trustees  of  the  proposed  Manual  Training  School  might 
cooperate,  thus  relieving  the  town  from  the  great  expense  of 
erecting  a  new  building,  and  at  the  same  time  giving  to  the 
Manual  Training  School  the  aid  of  the  High  School  Depart- 
ment and  equipment,  that  both  the  Manual  Training  School 
and  the  High  School  could  be  served  in  the  same  building. 

This  is  in  the  nature  of  an  informal  inquiry  to  ascertain 
if  the  trustees  would  entertain  a  proposition  from  the  town 
along  the  lines  indicated,  the  trustees  of  course  retaining  full 
control  of  their  property,  and  plant. 

Respectfully  yours, 

The  School  Committee  of  the  Town  of  Vernon, 

John  G.  Talcott, 

April  25,  1922. 


June  9,  1922 — Recommended  that  the  school  house  at  Ogden's 
Corner  be  enlarged  to  accommodate  the  pupils  in  that  district. 

September  13,  1922 — Town  meeting  to  see  if  the  Town  will  vote 
to  erect  a  new  school  building  in  that  part  of  the  town  known 
as  the  West  District. 

To  see  if  the  town  will  vote  to  authorize  the  Town  School 
Committee  to  negotiate  with  the  trustees  of  the  George  Sykes 
Manual  Training  School  for  the  purpose  of  cooperation  in  the 
maintenance  of  a  public  school. 

November  1,  1922 — It  was  suggested  that  the  new  school  building 
for  the  West  District  be  named  The  Ellis  Taft  Hayward  School. 

April  4,  1923 — Voted  to  name  the  new  school  "The  Maple  Street 
School."  There  was  some  discussion  as  to  the  re-naming  of 
other  schools  and  there  was  a  sentiment  that  all  schools  be 
named  to  indicate  their  location,  as  Dobsonville,  Hale  Street, 
etc.    The  vote  on  Maple  Street  was  unanimous. 

September  19,  1923 — New  room  suggested  for  Northeast  School 
where  the  lower  room  is  crowded  with  37  pupils,  of  whom  19 
are  in  grade  one. 

October  19,  1923 — Voted  that  the  Committee  approves  in  general 
the  plans  for  the  Manual  Training  and  High  School,  and  sug- 
gests to  the  trustees  of  the  George  Sykes  Fund  that  if  the  pro- 
posed building  is  erected,  it  be  made  sure  that  the  system  of 
ventilation  used  be  the  best  possible  for  a  school  building  that 
it  is  feasible  to  incorporate  in  the  plans,  and  that  the  trustees 
also  consider  the  use  of  oil  as  fuel  for  heating  the  building. 

January  2,  1924 — Superintendent  Clough  reported  that  the  new 
Maple  Street  School  was  opened  for  school  work  this  very  day 
and  that  all  were  pleased  with  the  new  school.  The  teachers' 
room  was  equipped  by  the  teachers  themselves. 

March  5,  1924 — The  Committee  reported  that  the  desks,  seats,  and 
blackboards  in  the  Old  West  School  had  been  sold  for  $275. 

December  30,  1925 — Proposed  changes  of  Old  High  School  esti- 
mate Libby  &  Blinn  of  Hartford,  $5,799.00. 

December  1,  1926 — Figures  on  the  enumeration  were  1951,  a  fall- 
ing off  of  97  from  last  year,  due  partly  to  the  closing  of  the 
Rock  Mill. 


December  7,  1927 — Reported  that  windows  in  the  old  East  build- 
ing had  been  boarded  up  as  so  many  panes  of  glass  had  been 

January  20,  1928 — Because  of  a  wide  outbreak  of  smallpox  cases 
in  the  State,  the  school  committee  of  the  town  of  Vernon  at 
a  special  meeting  held  January  20,  1928,  voted  "that  we  recom- 
mend the  vaccination  of  all  school  children,  and  that  a  letter  to 
this  effect  be  sent  to  all  parents  or  guardians  of  the  children. 
The  charge  for  vaccination  at  the  schools  was  fifty  cents,  and 
over  300  children  were  vaccinated. 

March  6,  1929 — Principal  McClellan  raised  money  in  the  school 
and  purchased  two  busts,  one  of  Washington  and  one  of  Lin- 
coln, for  the  Assembly  room  of  the  Maple  Street  School. 

April  3,  1929 — The  report  of  the  truant  officer  showed  four 
cases  of  children  looked  up  and  returned  to  school  by  him. 

May  7,  1930 — Reported  that  the  tower  had  been  taken  off  of  the 
East  School. 

September  4,  1931 — After  thoroughly  considering  the  matter,  it 
was  voted  to  postpone  the  opening  of  the  school  until  Septem- 
ber 14  because  of  the  prevalence  of  infantile  paralysis. 

February  3,  1932 — That  the  janitor  of  school  at  Vernon  Depot  be 
allowed  a  dollar  a  month  for  bringing  water  to  the  school 
house  for  drinking  purposes. 

November  30,  1932 — That  there  be  a  reduction  in  salaries  begin- 
ning in  December,  and  in  March,  1933,  teachers  received  five 
per  cent  cut  in  pay.  The  Board  also  voted  no  opportunity 
room  or  drawing  teacher. 

April  12,  1933 — That  the  belfry  of  the  East  School  be  removed  at 
a  cost  of  $62.00 — that  the  High  School  be  closed  because  of 
scarlet  fever  and  would  open  May  1st  unless  new  cases  ap- 
peared— that  the  music  department  be  discontinued  tempo- 
rarily for  financial  reasons. 

October  4,  1935 — A  meeting  of  the  Board  of  Education  was  called 
to  consider  the  report  of  the  General  Committee  of  the  Town 
desiring  to  build  a  school  house  and  gymnasium  as  a  Soldiers' 
Memorial.  They  recommended  a  twelve  room  school  build- 


November  3,  1937 — The  old  Grammar  school  building  on  School 
Street  is  being  demolished  by  the  New  York  &  Hartford  House 
Wrecking  Company.  The  Board  will  receive  $100  and  we 
were  allowed  to  retain  the  old  bell. 

November  1,  1939 — A  letter  was  received  from  George  Sturges, 
State  Director  of  Law  and  Attendance,  stating  that  payment 
by  the  Town  for  the  transportation  of  children  to  parochial  or 
other  private  schools  is  not  authorized  under  the  State  Law. 

May  25,  1942 — That  a  physical  director  be  engaged  not  to  exceed 
$2700  per  year  under  a  contract  not  to  exceed  a  three-year 

February  3,  1943 — That  the  building  committee  be  empowered  to 
convert  the  oil-burning  boilers  in  the  Sykes  Memorial  High 
School  to  coal-burning  boilers,  with  approval  of  the  Board. 

June  2,  1943 — That  a  certain  tract  of  land  on  Dobsonville  School 
property  be  turned  over  to  the  Selectmen  of  the  Town  to  be 
used  by  Dobsonville  Fire  Department. 

December  8,  1943 — That  Night  School  be  discontinued  after  De- 
cember 16,  due  to  small  enrollment,  and  on  the  recommenda- 
tion of  the  Night  School  Faculty. 

March  7,  1945 — Philip  M.  Howe  retires  from  position  as  Superin- 
tendent of  Schools  and  Principal  of  the  High  School  on  com- 
pletion of  contract  in  August,  1945.  He  served  42  years  in  the 
schools:  nine  as  a  teacher,  33  as  a  principal,  the  last  eight  years 
also  as  Superintendent  of  Schools. 

April  4,  1945 — Arthur  E.  Chatterton  appointed  Superintendent  of 
Schools,  and  Allen  L.  Dresser,  Principal  of  High  School. 

September  5,  1946 — This  was  George  Arnold's  last  meeting  as  a 
member  of  the  Board  on  which  he  served  faithfully  eleven 

November  7,  1946 — It  was  the  sentiment  of  the  Board  that  the  Su- 
perintendent should  proceed  to  try  to  work  out  plans  with  the 
clergy  of  the  town  of  Vernon  such  that  the  pupils  of  the  town 
might  have  the  opportunity  to  obtain  religious  education  dur- 
ing the  school  day. 

November  7,  1946 — Voted  that  the  Superintendent  write  a  letter  to 
the  Selectmen  of  the  town  of  Vernon  asking  that  the  land  on 


East  Street  next  to  the  Town  Farm  be  set  aside  and  be  marked 
for  a  future  school  site  so  as  to  guarantee  that  if  the  Board 
of  Selectmen  should  in  the  future  be  changed  the  land  would 
still  be  guaranteed  to  the  Board  of  Education. 

December  5,  1946 — It  was  observed  that  for  the  first  time  in  many 
years  a  representative  of  the  local  papers  has  been  present  in 
that  capacity,  and  Mr.  Von  Euw  was  cordially  welcomed. 

In  1947  the  gift  of  a  new  stage  curtain  by  Mrs.  Phelps  was  acknowl- 

April  7,  1948 — A  new  salary  schedule  for  teachers  was  adopted — 
the  minimum  $2,200,  maximum  $4,000. 

In  the  year  1948  the  High  School  "Banner"  won  second  place  hon- 
ors in  its  division  in  the  National  Contest  among  school  publi- 
cations sponsored  by  the  Columbia  Scholastic  Press  Association. 
Competed  with  magazines  entered  by  Senior  High  Schools  in 
all  parts  of  the  country  with  enrollments  between  300  and  800. 

June  1,  1948 — Attorney  Saul  Peizer  moved  that  a  committee  of  12 
be  appointed  to  investigate  the  need  of  a  new  school  in  the 
town  of  Vernon,  six  residents  from  Rural  Vernon  and  six  from 
City  of  Rockville.  Also  exofficio  members  Board  of  Selectmen, 
Building  Committee,  Board  of  Education  and  Superintendent 
of  Schools. 

City  Committee  Rural  Vernon  Committee 

Morgan  Campbell  Franklin  Welles 

Mrs.  E.  Fenton  Burke  Martin  Lehan 

Maurice  Miller  Eldna  Johnston 

Forrest  Musser  Att.  Saul  Peizer 

Ralph  Snape  Alice  Hammar 

Romeo  Auclair  Robert  Marcham 

Exofficio  Members  Board  of  Education  Building 

Board  of  Selectmen  Committee 

Ernest  A.   Schindler  Maurice  L.  Spurling 

Vincent  F.  Jordan  Herman  Olson 

John  Rorup  Dr.  M.  V.  B.  Metcalf 

The  Committees  appointed  to  make  a  study  of  the  school  needs 

June  29,  1948 — Special  Town  Meeting. 

Committee  approved  for  Building  Committee: 


Rural  Vernon  Bockville 

Saul  Peizer  Morgan  Campbell 

Franklin  Welles  Allen  Schaeffer 

Mrs.  Eldna  Johnston  Ralph  Snape 

Mrs.  George  Hammar  Mrs.  E.  Fenton  Burke 

Martin  Lehan  Romeo  Auclair 

Robert  Marcham  Mrs.  Herman  Olsen 

March  29,  1949 — Special  Town  Meeting. 

Because  of  the  large  number  of  people  present  it  was  impos- 
sible to  make  a  choice  of  a  chairman.  At  this  point  Fire  Mar- 
shal William  Conrady  addressed  the  meeting,  stating  it  would 
be  impossible  to  hold  a  meeting  in  this  hall  with  such  a  large 
attendance.  The  main  hall,  stairways  and  entrance  hall  were 
all  filled.  Because  of  the  existing  hazard,  he  then  ordered  the 
hall  cleared  and  the  meeting  automatically  broke  up  at  8:22 
p.m.    People  in  hall — about  1200. 

June  15,  1949 — Special  Town  Meeting  at  7  p.m.  in  Rockville  Rec- 
reation Field.     Mr.  Harry  H.  Lugg  elected  chairman. 
The  School  Building  Committee  had  conducted  an  investiga- 
tion to  determine  the  minimum  new  school  facilities  that  must 
be  provided  at  this  time. 

As  a  result  of  investigating,  the  following  recommendations 
are  submitted  for  consideration:  — 

1.  That  the  town  of  Vernon  erect  two  new  schools 

(a)  one  at  the  East  Street  site  to  accommodate  the  ele- 
mentary pupils  now  attending  Northeast,  East  and  Old 
High  Schools. 

(b)  one  at  a  site  in  Rural  Vernon  to  accommodate  the 
resident  pupils  now  attending  Talcottville,  Vernon  Depot, 
Maple  Street,  East,  County  Home  and  Old  High  Schools. 

2.  That  each  of  these  proposed  schools  contains  9  grades 
and  necessary  auxiliary  rooms,  including  a  combination 
gymnasium  and  auditorium,  each  school  to  cost  approxi- 
mately $300,000. 

3.  That  the  town  of  Vernon  apply  for  a  grant  to  the 
Public  School  Building  Commission  of  the  State  of  Con- 
necticut in  accordance  with  public  act  No.  333.  The  re- 
ceipt of  this  grant  will  reduce  the  above  cost  by  the 
amount  received. 


4.  That  the  membership  of  the  Vernon  School  Building 
Committee  be  enlarged  to  include  the  First  Selectman  and 
a  member  of  the  Board  of  Education. 

This  year's  elementary  school  enrollment  has  shown  an  in- 
crease of  over  100  pupils.  From  all  available  statistics  the 
school  enrollment  will  continue  to  increase  in  a  larger  propor- 
tion during  the  next  5  years  and  the  present  facilities  will  not 
accommodate  any  such  increases.  Therefore,  your  committee 
strongly  urges  that  immediate  action  be  taken  upon  its  recom- 

Resolved:  that  the  present  personnel  of  the  Vernon  School 
Building  Committee  be  discharged  with  thanks,  and  be  it  fur- 
ther resolved,  that  the  personnel  of  the  Vernon  School  Build- 
ing Committee  henceforth  and  until  further  amended  by  a 
Town  Meeting  duly  warned  for  said  purpose  shall  consist  of 
the  following  members:  First  Selectman  of  the  town  of  Vernon 
and  his  successors;  Mayor  of  the  city  of  Rockville  and  his  suc- 
cessors, three  members  of  the  Board  of  Education  and  their 
successors,  to  be  chosen  by  said  Board;  two  members  of  the 
Board  of  Finance  and  their  successors  to  be  chosen  by  said 

Tellers  reported  317  in  favor,  428  opposed. 

June  28,  1949— Special  Meeting. 

July  12,  1949 — Franklin  Welles  of  the  Vernon  School  Building  Com- 
mittee appeared  before  the  Board  to  explain  the  building  site 
that  had  been  investigated  and  chosen  by  the  Building  Com- 
mittee. This  site,  known  as  the  Riley-Touhey  site  was  priced 
at  $10,400.  The  board  approved  the  site,  but  thought  the 
price  excessive.  On  the  other  hand  the  location  was  central, 
the  site  large  enough  for  a  good  school  playground,  has  room 
for  further  expansion  and  was  approved  by  the  State  Board  of 

In  September  of  1949 — The  Board  was  saddened  at  the  news  of  the 
death  of  Francis  S.  Nettleton,  Chairman  from  1916  to  1924, 
and  treasurer  from  1924  to  1945. 

The  Class  of  1947  innovation  in  its  program  for  graduation.  In- 
stead of  graduating  in  the  traditional  attire  of  evening  gowns 
and  suits,  this  year  the  class  decided  to  graduate  in  cap  and 


gown.  Cut  out  expense  and  make  ceremony  more  uniform 
and  impressive. 

October  25,  1949 — Special  Town  Meeting. 

To  vote  upon  the  following  resolution:  "Be  it  resolved  that 
the  sum  of  $600,000  is  hereby  appropriated  for  the  purpose  of 
erecting,  equipping  and  suitably  furnishing  two  elementary 
schools  within  said  town,  said  appropriation  to  include  the  pur- 
chase of  sites  for  said  2  schools  and  all  other  costs  and  charges 
therefor,  and  the  expenditure  of  said  appropriation  is  hereby 
authorized  on  order  of  the  Vernon  School  Building  Commit- 
mittee  and  said  Committee  is  hereby  authorized  and  empow- 
ered to  order  expenditures  out  of  said  appropriation  for  the 
within  and  foregoing  purposes." 
Result — Yes  832 — No  2546.     Polls  were  open  9  a.m.  to  7  p.m. 

November  22,  1949,  at  8  p.m.,  Sykes  Auditorium — Harry  H.  Lugg 

1.  Mr.  Usher  presented  following  resolution  "Be  it  resolved 
that  the  Town  is  in  favor  of  the  immediate  erection,  equipping 
and  suitably  furnishing  of  one  elementary  school  within  said 
town  at  a  total  cost  to  include  the  purchase  of  the  site  and  all 
other  costs  and  charges  therefore,  or  not  more  than  $300,000. 
Unanimously  passed. 

2.  Committee  to  be  known  as  the  Vernon  School  Building 

3.  Be  it  resolved  that  the  Vernon  School  Building;  Committee 
is  hereby  authorized  and  empowered  immediately  to  seek  an 
appropriation  of  not  more  than  $300,000. 

That  the  Vernon  School  Building  Committee  is  hereby  author- 
ized and  empowered  to  select  a  site  for  the  elementary  school 
— 250  present. 

December  20,  1949 

$6,000  appropriated  for  preliminary  architects  fee  incurred  for 
the  building  of  school  or  schools. 

January  24,  1950 — We  the  undersigned  members  of  the  Town  of 
Vernon  School  Building  Committee  hereby  submit  our  resig[- 
nation  as  members  of  tlr's  Committee,  said  resignation  to  take 
effect  as  of  today. 

Signed:  James  Doherty, 

John  E.  Flaherty,  John  L.  Kramer, 

Maurice  L.  Spurring,  Thomas  F.  Rady. 


In  May,  1950 — An  inter  communication  system  was  installed  in  the 
High  School  wherebv  announcements  may  be  read  each  morn- 
ing and  afternoon  to  the  entire  school.  Pupils  may  be  called 
from  individual  rooms  and  programs  originated  from  the  class- 

May  12,  1950 — Mr.  J.  McCusker  was  appointed  Assistant  Principal 
of  Rockville  High  School. 


June  7,  1950 — At  an  executive  session,  it  was  passed  that  Mr. 
Dresser  be  given  the  position  of  assistant  Superintendent  of 
Schools  in  charge  of  finance  at  no  increase  in  salary. 

September  26,  1950 — Special  Town  Meeting  in  Sykes  Auditorium, 
Attorney  Harry  H.  Lugg  elected  moderator. 
Mr.  Marcham  presented  the  following  resolution: — "Be  it  re- 
solved that  the  Board  of  Selectmen,  the  Vernon  School  Build- 
ing Committee  and  any  and  all  other  officers  of  the  town  of 
Vernon,  are  hereby  authorized  and  empowered  and  directed 
to  take  anv  and  all  steps  necessary,  proper,  or  incidental  to 
securing  any  and  all  financial  aid  or  assistance  which  may  be 
procurable  from  the  State  or  Federal  Government,  or  other- 
wise, which  might  assist  in  defraying,  or  reimbursing  the  town 
for,  all  or  any  part  or  parts  of  the  appropriation  set  forth  in 
paragraph  one  of  the  warning  of  Special  Town  Meeting  held 
on  Tuesday,  September  26,  1950,  and  they  and  each  of  them 
are  hereby  authorized,  empowered  and  directed  to  make,  sign, 
execute  and  deliver  any  and  all  instruments  necessary  for  the 
purpose  of  this  resolution  and  of  said  warning. 
Motion  seconded  bv  Franklin  Welles,  Voted.  About  350  voters 

June  27,  1950 — That  sum  of  $7,000  be  appropriated  to  Board  of 
Education  for  the  purpose  of  establishing  an  Electrical  Shop 
in  the  George  Sykes  Manual  Training  and  High  School,  said 
sum  to  be  reimbursed  to  the  Town  by  the  State  of  Connecticut. 

September  26,  1950.  Resolved  that  the  sum  of  $373,123.11  is  here- 
by appropriated  for  the  erection,  equipping  and  suitable  fur- 
nishing of  one  elementary  school  within  the  Town  of  Vernon. 

March  13,  1951 — Resolutions  on  the  death  of  Philip  Mead  Howe: 

"Philip  Mead  Howe — a  graduate  of  Yale  University  with 

Phi  Beta  Kappa  honors,  came  to  Rockville  High  School  in  1903 

as  a  teacher  of  history.     In   1912  he  became  principal,  and 



in  1937  he  added  the  duties  and  responsibilities  of  superin- 
tendent, whieh  position  he  held  until  his  voluntary  retirement 
in  1945. 

"As  a  teacher  of  history,  he  was  without  a  peer;  as  an 
administrator  of  the  schools,  he  was  unexcelled.  His  influence 
will  long  be  felt  by  the  Town  he  so  ably  served." 

Following  his  retirement,  he  served  from  1947-1948  in  the 
State  Legislature  as  a  representative  of  the  Town  of  Vernon, 
and  served  as  chairman  of  the  Education  Committee. 



On  June  29,  1954,  the  Library  celebrated  the  50th  Anniver- 
sary of  the  George  Maxwell  Memorial  Library,  known  as  the  Rock- 
ville  Public  Library,  by  having  "Open  House"  from  7  P.M. -9  P.M. 
There  were  short  speeches  made  by  officials  of  the  city  and  town, 
Mr.  Lugg,  Mr.  Belding  and  Miss  Peck.  The  Library's  treasures, 
consisting  of  the  John  Eliot  Indian  Bible,  a  page  of  the  Gutenberg 
Bible,  and  many  pictures  and  maps  of  old  Rockville  were  on  view. 

The  local  story  opens  with  the  year  1776  when  there  was  es- 
tablished in  Vernon,  then  North  Bolton,  a  library  which  furnished 
to  the  small  population  of  that  distant  time  such  books  as  were  con- 
sidered by  the  founders  "suited  to  promote  useful  knowledge  and 
piety  in  the  community."  There  is  in  the  old  Bolton  records  a 
manuscript  containing  a  catalog  and  the  articles  for  the  founding, 
establishing,  and  perpetuating  of  a  proprietary  library  in  North 
Bolton  Society,  agreed  upon  and  signed  by  the  original  proprietors 
April  17,  1776.  Eighty -four  names  in  all  are  affixed.  The  second 
signature  on  the  list  is  that  of  Ebenezer  Kellogg,  minister  of  Vernon 




for  55  years  and  the  last  signature  is  that  of  George  Kellogg.  When 
a  committee  was  appointed  in  1808  to  purchase  more  books,  Ebe- 
nezer  Kellogg  and  Phineas  Talcott,  his  son-in-law  served.  The  cost 
of  a  share  in  this  library  was  ten  shillings,  and  each  signer  bound 
himself  in  the  sum  of  two  pounds  to  abide  by  the  rules  and  regu- 
lations of  the  association.  Each  proprietor  was  allowed  to  take 
out  one  book  and  keep  it  for  three  months,  but  he  had  to  pay  two 
pence  per  day  for  every  day  he  kept  it  beyond  that  time.  These 
good  people  took  no  chances  on  their  treasurer  stealing  their  money 
or  their  librarian  losing  their  books,  for  each  was  placed  under  a 
bond  of  200  pounds,  which  must  have  been  well  beyond  any  value 
in  their  hands. 

In  1808  there  were  118  works,  some  of  them  in  two  or  three 
volumes,  and  in  that  same  year  48  were  added.  It  is  illuminating 
to  observe  that  the  books  consisted  largely  of  sermons  and  heavy 
religious  treatises  such  as  Dr.  Watts'  "Logic,"  Jonathan  Edwards 
on  "Religious  Affections,"  and  Harvey's  "Meditations."  There  were 
a  few  books  of  more  general  interest — McKenzie's  "Voyages  in 
North  America,"  Cook's  "Voyages,"  etc.  But  here  was  the  begin- 
ning of  the  diffusion  of  book  knowledge  in  the  Town  of  Vernon — 
a  few  books  kept  either  in  a  private  house  or  in  some  portion  of 
the  old  Mother  Church. 

The  first  authentic  record  of  a  successful  attempt  to  establish 
a  public  library  in  the  town  of  Vernon  began  with  the  formation 
of  the  Vernon  Union  Library  Company,  which  adopted  its  consti- 
tution and  by-laws  in  the  month  of  February,  1811,  with  80  sub- 
scribers, among  whom  was  George  Kellogg.  Indeed  the  idea  was 
born  in  his  fertile  mind.  He  was  strongly  impressed  with  the  feel- 
ing that  institutions  of  an  educational  and  moral  character  should 
keep  pace  with  the  growth  of  the  town  and  with  the  advancement 
of  material  wealth.  In  1843  George  Kellogg  and  Allen  Hammond, 
then  the  managing  owners  of  the  New  England  Mill,  purchased 
300  books  for  the  use  and  benefit  of  the  employees  of  the  mill. 
The  books  were  labelled  The  New  England  Company's  Library. 
Unfortunately,  the  standard  was  too  high  and  furnished  reading 
matter  which  did  not  appeal  to  the  tastes  of  those  for  whom  the 
books  were  provided.  The  working  man  had  not  yet  started  on 
the  way  to  a  formal  education. 

For  twenty  years  the  subject  of  a  Public  Library  was  frequent- 
ly discussed  and  its  needs  were  publicly  emphasized.  Then  a  few 
public-spirited   citizens — dreamy-eyed   optimists — started   a  public 


subscription  library  and  as  a  result  500  books  were  added  to  the 
New  England  Mill  collection.  This  library  was  located  in  the  of- 
fice of  the  White  Gingham  Mill,  later  the  John  J.  Regan  Manufac- 
turing Company,  and  was  in  charge  of  George  F.  Brigham,  book- 
keeper of  that  company.  Hudson  H.  Kellogg,  possessing  the  daunt- 
less hardiness  of  those  pioneer  days,  worked  incessantly  for  its 
success,  which  was  consummated  by  the  proceeds  of  a  fair  held  by 
an  organization  of  young  people  known  as  the  Mayflower  Society. 
The  books  were  loaned  out  on  a  subscription  of  $1.00  a  year,  and 
occasionally  new  books  were  added.  Later  the  library  was  moved 
to  the  Probate  office  in  the  small  bank  building  where  the  new 
Rockville  National  Bank  was  erected.  After  a  short  time  it  was 
removed  to  a  room  in  the  Exchange  Block,  in  charge  of  E.  W. 
Foote.  New  books  were  added  in  that  store,  so  that  in  1896  there 
were  2,000  books  in  the  subscription  library. 

In  the  meantime,  throughout  the  town  there  was  a  growing 
thirst  for  knowledge.  A  German  Reading  Society  met  in  Linck's 
Hall  on  Village  Street,  and  the  tingling  and  intense  chronicle  of 
the  Secretary  of  that  Society  reveals  that  in  the  year  1892  their 
newly-organized  library  was  in  a  flourishing  condition  with  a  mem- 
bership of  over  200.  There  were  859  books  in  its  library,  and  in 
that  same  year  200  additional  books  were  purchased.  The  mem- 
bers met  every  Sunday  at  their  room  on  Village  Street  for  the  ex- 
change of  books.  Monthly  dues  proved  sufficient  for  the  needs  of 
the  treasury.  The  majority  of  the  books  were  in  the  German  lan- 
guage, a  few  only  in  English.  Many,  in  fact  the  majority  of  the 
German  residents  in  Rockville  at  that  time  were  unable  to  read 

The  Franklin  Institute  for  debates  in  Vernon  and  Village  Im- 
provement Societies  in  Rockville  were  weather  vanes  waiting  for 
the  wind  to  blow  in  the  right  direction.  The  George  Maxwell 
Fund  of  $5,000  opened  a  free  reading  room  and  library  in  the  Union 
Congregational  Church.  Daily  papers,  weekly  magazines  and 
books  attracted  large  numbers  of  men  in  the  day  and  evening. 
That  was  in  1892.  Miss  Sarah  Wicks,  librarian  for  many  years,  re- 
ported an  average  attendance  from  50  to  75  persons  daily.  Twenty 
thousand  people  visited  the  room  in  the  year  1894. 

In  1893  a  new  enterprise  was  launched.  George  Maxwell  be- 
queathed to  the  town  of  Vernon  the  sum  of  $10,000  for  a  free  pub- 
lic library,  provided  the  town  in  five  years  raise  an  equal  sum,  and 
on  the  19th  day  of  April,  1893,  the  legislature  of  the  State  of  Con- 


necticut  incorporated  The  Rockville  Public  Library,  naming  as  its 
incorporators  Francis  T.  Maxwell,  William  Maxwell,  George  Sykes, 
W.  H.  Prescott,  Charles  Phelps,  A.  Park  Hammond  and  Joseph  C. 
Hammond.  Under  the  provisions  of  its  charter  there  were  sub- 
sequently added  four  other  names — two  from  the  city  and  two 
from  the  town. 

In  that  same  year  the  Rockville  Library  Association  was  for- 
mally organized,  and  in  1895  the  town  appropriated  $10,000  to 
secure  the  George  Maxwell  offer.  As  a  result  of  this  appropriation 
the  new  library  was  incorporated  under  the  laws  of  Connecticut 
as  the  Rockville  Public  Library,  and  was  opened  June  12,  1896. 
It  was  located  in  the  rooms  occupied  until  recent  years  by  the 
Telephone  Company  in  the  Hartford-Connecticut  Trust  Company 
building  on  Elm  Street.  The  exact  amount  turned  over  to  the  li- 
brary directors  was  $12,600,  being  the  amount  originally  bequeathed 
and  accumulated  interest. 

J.  C.  Hammond  rushed  to  draw  out  the  first  book.  On  the 
first  day,  one  hundred  books  were  borrowed,  125  on  Saturday  and 
150  on  Monday.  Success  followed  immediately.  At  the  first  An- 
nual Meeting  held  in  the  office  of  the  Aqueduct  Company,  Francis 
T.  Maxwell  presided,  and  the  first  report  showed  that  the  circula- 
tion started  at  800  per  week,  75%  of  which  was  fiction.  Nine 
hundred  people  borrowed  18,100  books  between  June  11,  1896,  and 
January  1,  1897.  The  town  was  allowed  $200  for  books  by  the 
State,  and  at  the  October,  1896,  meeting  of  the  town  an  appropria- 
tion of  $300  was  voted  toward  the  maintenance  of  the  public  li- 
brary. The  first  librarian  was  Miss  Geraldine  Keating  of  the  Al- 
bany School  for  Librarians.  Her  salary  was  $500  a  year.  She 
resigned  after  a  year  to  return  to  her  native  land  and  in  Bucking- 
hamshire, one  hour  from  Londan,  she  enjoyed  for  many  years  a 
little  cottage,  a  garden  and  a  trout  stream. 

George  Maxwell  not  only  bequeathed  a  sum  of  money  which 
enabled  this  enterprise  to  be  placed  upon  a  substantial  basis,  but 
in  his  lifetime  he  gave  to  the  subject  careful  and  earnest  thought. 
The  same  strong  purpose  and  constant  endeavor  which  character- 
ized him  as  a  business  man  marked  him  also  as  a  philanthropist. 
He  loved  church,  school,  library,  and  became  their  munificent 
patron.  Into  these  institutions  he  put  his  money,  but  better  than 
all,  he  put  into  them  himself.  He  loved  Rockville  and  all  her  in- 
stitutions. True,  the  wishes  and  purposes  of  his  life  were  in  some 
measure  interrupted  by  his  death,  but  the  work  which  lay  on  his 
heart  was  taken  up  by  the  surviving  members  of  the  family  in  1891. 


The  present  library  building — The  George  Maxwell  Memorial 
Library — on  Union  Street,  was  giyen  to  the  Town  of  Vernon  in 
the  year  1904  in  memory  of  George  Maxwell  by  his  wife,  Harriet 
Kellogg  Maxwell,  and  his  children — J.  Alice  Maxwell,  William  Max- 
well, Francis  T.  Maxwell  and  Robert  Maxwell,  the  privileges  of 
the  library  to  be  free  to  all  residents  of  the  town  of  Vernon.  The 
building,  the  equipment,  the  grounds,  and  the  greater  part  of  the 
money  that  it  requires  to  sustain  it,  were  given  to  the  Town  by  the 
Maxwell  family.  Other  people  attracted  by  the  noble  work  begun 
have  occasionally  left  money  for  the  purchase  of  books  and  for 
general  expenses,  and  the  Town  gives  $4,000  annually  toward  its 
support,  but  the  Maxwell  family  by  its  generosity  has  made  it 
possible  for  Rockville  to  have  one  of  the  finest  of  the  small  libraries 
in  New  England. 

Mr.  Maxwell  provided  in  his  will  the  nucleus  for  a  public 
library,  the  second  clause  reading, 

"I  give  and  bequeath  unto  my  executors  hereafter 
named  the  sum  of  $10,000  in  trust  to  invest  and  keep  the 
same  invested,  and  to  receive  the  income  thereof,  and  ac- 
cumulate the  same,  and  if  within  two  years  after  my  death, 
a  corporation  shall  be  duly  organized,  to  be  called  the 
Rockville  Public  Library  for  the  purpose  of  establishing 
and  maintaining  a  public  library  in  the  city  of  Rockville, 
and  which  shall  have  legal  capacity  to  accept  the  legacy 
herein  mentioned,  and  if  such  corporation  shall  procure 
for  the  purposes  aforesaid,  from  other  sources,  the  like  sum 
of  $10,000,  then,  and  as  soon  as  such  conditions  shall  be 
complied  with,  I  direct  my  said  executors  to  pay  over  and 
transfer  said  sum  of  $10,000  and  all  accumulations  of  in- 
come thereon,  or  the  securities  in  which  the  same  may  be 
invested,  unto  said  corporation,  to  have  and  to  hold  the 
same  for  the  purpose  above  mentioned  forever." 

The  location  of  the  library  on  Union  Street,  west  of  the  Fitch 
block,  is  ideal.  It  is  central  and  easv  of  access  to  all  parts  of  the 
Town,  an  essential  taken  into  consideration  by  its  projectors. 

The  site  was  purchased  by  the  Maxwell  family  from  the  Rock 
Manufacturing  Company.  Previously  on  the  spot  stood  two  dwell- 
ing houses,  the  one  on  the  east  was  occupied  by  Mayor  Edwin  L. 
Heath  and  the  other  on  the  west  by  Crosslev  Fitton. 

On  Union  Street,  but  facing  West  Main  Street,  stood  the 
Maxwell  home  where  the  Maxwell  children  were  born,  "Kellogg 


Lawn."  Next  to  the  Maxwell  house  was  the  residence  of  Mr. 
A.  W.  Rice,  whose  drug  store  stood  where  Metcalf's  drug  store  is 
now;  and  next  was  the  home  of  Allyn  Talcott,  Phineas  Talcott,  and 
a  third  brother.  The  Talcotts  had  a  grocery  store  in  a  building 
now  occupied  in  part  by  Metcalf's  Drug  Store. 

About  the  first  of  March,  1903,  ground  was  broken  and  exca- 
vation started.  The  first  stone  of  the  foundation  was  laid  March 
13th.  Charles  A.  Piatt,  of  New  York,  designed  the  building,  and 
the  contractor  for  its  construction  was  F.  L.  Whitcomb  of  Boston, 
the  contract  price  being  $90,000  which  together  with  the  cost  of  the 
lot,  furnishings,  etc.,  represented  an  expenditure  of  about  $150,000. 
Whitcomb  had  just  built  the  beautiful  and  costly  residence  later 
owned  and  occupied  by  the  Elks. 

The  building  itself,  86  x  42  ft.  with  an  ell  in  the  rear  30  x  52, 
is  a  commanding  classic  structure,  architectually  noble.  The  ex- 
terior is  of  white  marble  hewn  from  the  quarries  of  Vermont.  The 
interior  finish  is  of  Sienna  marble  and  stained  oak.  The  approach 
is  impressive  and  majestic,  two  flights  of  granite  steps  leading  up 
to  eight  Ionic  columns.  In  the  pediment  is  a  bronze  clock,  illumi- 
nated by  night.  Over  the  small  pediment  at  the  entrance  door  is 
the  carving  of  a  book,  symbolic  of  the  library.  The  vestibule  is 
lined  with  Formosa  marble,  unusually  beautiful.  In  the  frieze 
around  the  Reading  Room  appear  the  names  of  twenty-four  of  the 
greatest  literary  characters  of  all  time — Shakespeare,  Tennvson, 
Browning,  Addison,  Milton,  Johnson,  Bunyan,  Chaucer,  Homer, 
Virgil,  Dante,  Goethe,  Thackeray,  Scott,  Dickens,  Eliot,  Emerson, 
Stevenson,  Hawthorne,  Longfellow,  Burns,  Bacon,  Hugo,  and  Poe. 
Over  the  charging  desk  is  a  Latin  inscription  as  vivacious  as  it  is 
instructive.  A  good  translation  reads — "We  drink  from  this  foun- 
tain those  things  which  are  highest." 

The  John  Eliot  Bible  in  the  library  was  given  bv  Lion  Gardi- 
ner in  memory  of  his  friend  Robert  Maxwell.  This  Bible  was 
translated  into  the  Algonquin  language  bv  John  Eliot  who  was 
known  as  "Apostle  of  the  Indians,"  in  1663. 

About  1500  copies  are  said  to  have  been  printed.  Some  of 
these  are  in  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Universities;  the  British  Mu- 
seum, and  Trinity  College,  Dublin.  In  this  country  the  Congres- 
sional Library,  New  York  Public  Library  and  the  Boston  Public 
Library  own  copies.  There  are  34  copies  listed  in  a  pamphlet  pub- 
lished by  the  Library  of  Congress. 


The  copy  in  the  Rockville  Public  Library  was  used  by  an  In- 
dian chief  of  the  Nihantic  tribe  in  Lyme,  Connecticut.  He  gave  it 
in  1812  to  John  Lion  Gardiner  of  Gardiner's  Island,  New  York. 

Three  original  John  Brown  letters  are  preserved  in  the  library. 
One  in  June,  1839,  West  Hartford,  tells  that  John  Brown  has  re- 
ceived $2,800  to  be  expended  for  wool  in  Ohio  or  refunded  when 
called  for.  The  second  letter,  August,  1839,  tells  of  John  Brown's 
shame  that  he  cannot  refund  the  money,  and  that  his  property,  etc., 
must  be  sold  to  repay  the  money  he  has  borrowed.  In  the  third 
letter,  of  July,  1846,  ( Springfield ) ,  John  Brown  tells  of  sending  four 
bags  of  No.  3  wool  and  one  bag  of  wet  wool.  He  writes  of  his 
confidence  in  George  Kellogg  as  to  the  price  of  the  wool. 

On  a  perfect  day  in  June,  1904,  people  of  the  town  of  Vernon 
received  through  the  mail  this  printed  invitation — 

The  honor  of  your  presence  is  requested  at  the  Dedi- 
cation ceremonies  of  the  George  Maxwell  Memorial  Li- 
brary of  Rockville,  Connecticut,  on  the  afternoon  of 
Wednesday,  29th  June,  1904,  at  three  o'clock,  at  the  Union 
Congregational  Church. 

The  library  will  be  open  for  inspection  at  the  close 
of  the  Dedicatory  exercises. 

The  Maxwell  Memorial  Library  was  presented  to  the  Town  of 
Vernon  on  Wednesday,  29th  June,  1904,  in  ceremonies  of  rare  ex- 
cellence and  able  addresses.  Beeman  &  Hatch's  orchestra  occupied 
a  portion  of  the  annex.  The  organ  was  not  used.  The  only  sing- 
ing was  "America"  by  the  audience.  George  Morgan  Ward,  Doctor 
of  Divinity  and  Doctor  of  Literature,  president  of  Wells  College, 
offered  the  prayer.  Hon.  Charles  Phelps  presided  and  gave  an 
address,  which  according  to  the  newspapers  of  the  day  had  rarely 
if  ever  been  equalled  in  the  city's  history. 

Colonel  Francis  T.  Maxwell,  always  the  soul  of  brevity,  made 
the  presentation  in  these  words: 

"Representing  the  Maxwell  family,  it  gives  me  great 
pleasure  to  present  to  the  Rockville  Public  Library  the 
keys  and  title  deeds  of  the  George  Maxwell  Memorial 

Joseph  C.  Hammond,  Jr.,  treasurer  of  the  Rockville  Public  Library, 
accepted  the  trust.  Next  came  an  address  by  Professor  George 
Rice   Carpenter,   of  Columbia   College,   subject — "The   Public   Li- 


brary  in  New  England  Life  and  Letters."  Governor  Abiram 
Chamberlain  gave  a  short  address;  the  Benedietion  was  pronounced 
by  Rev.  J.  Francis  George,  of  St.  John's  Episcopal  Church. 

Since  this  building  was  opened  in  1904  the  library  has  circu- 
lated close  to  three  million  books — the  number  of  books  in  the 
library  in  1954  was  29,000.  The  reference  collection  contains  late 
editions  of  encyclopedias,  dictionaries  in  foreign  languages,  and 
many  other  volumes  too  numerous  to  mention.  Over  90  magazines 
are  subscribed  to. 

In  1954  the  Children's  Room,  renamed  the  Junior  Library,  was 
moved  upstairs  to  what  was  "Library  Hall."  This  released  space 
much  needed  for  the  overcrowded  art  and  music  books. 

The  Rockville  Public  Library  has  given  service  to  the  schools 
through  classroom  libraries,  talks  on  books  given  in  the  classes  and 
instruction  on  the  use  of  the  library.  When  the  new  school  was 
opened  in  Vernon  600  books  were  loaned,  including  encyclopedias, 
dictionary  and  an  atlas.  When  the  new  school  opens  in  the  east 
end  of  the  town,  the  library  will  give  similar  service.  Service  is 
given  to  high  school  students  in  the  library  where  help  is  needed 
on  reference  problems  and  reading.  The  Tolland  County  Art  As- 
sociation has  held  seven  annual  art  exhibits  in  the  library. 

Librarians  in  charge  who  have  rendered  faithful  service 
through  the  years  are  1896-1897  Miss  Geraldine  Keating;  1897-1906 
Florence  Davis;  1906-1908  Lillian  May  Gamwell;  1908-1910  H. 
Elizabeth  White;  1910-1912  Bessie  Beckwith.  Miss  Edith  M.  Peck 
came  to  the  library  in  1912  and  is  still  the  courteous  and  compe- 
tent librarian. 

Amid  the  news  stands,  the  radio,  television  serials,  the  motion 
picture  houses  of  the  Town  of  Vernon,  the  Rockville  Public  Library 
stands  firm  as  the  treasury  of  the  writings  of  the  centuries.  Here 
the  individual  who  still  wants  ideas  which  have  not  been  watered 
down  may  find  what  he  seeks.  All  of  us  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude 
to  the  library  for  its  hospitality  and  helpfulness,  indeed,  the  library 
is  almost  as  vital  a  part  of  our  educational  system  as  the  school- 

The  story  of  the  Rockville  Public  Library  is  the  story  of  books, 
and  books  are  not  simply  paper  and  ink  and  cloth — they  are  per- 
sonalities. They  are  a  company  of  immortals  who  have  walked 
the  common  road  and  are  now  marching  on  to  eternity.  Books  are 
bridges  which  cross  dark  rivers — they  are  ships  which  carry  us 
across  the  sea  of  despair.    They  open  their  hearts  to  us — they  speak 


to  us  of  their  adventures,  their  romances,  their  tragedies,  their 
explorations.  They  lift  our  horizons.  They  make  us  laugh  and 
cry,  fear  and  hope. 

This  noble  testimonial  to  the  memory  of  the  Maxwell  family 
is  placed  at  the  entrance  to  the  bookshelves: — 

"The  year  1942  marks  the  passing  of  a  family  long 
endeared  to  the  hearts  of  this  community  for  their  constant 
thoughtfulness  and  generous  recognition  of  the  needs  of 
their  fellowmen. 

The  Rockville  Public  Library  is  a  lasting  example  of 
a  tireless  effort  begun  by  Harriet  Kellogg  Maxwell,  her 
daughter  Alice  and  three  sons  Francis,  William  and  Rob- 
ert in  1903  as  a  memorial  to  their  father  George  Maxwell. 
It  was  completed  a  year  later,  in  character  and  design 
quite  in  keeping  with  the  splendid  traditions  of  this  old 
New  England  family. 

A  structure  of  beauty  architectually  and  finished 
throughout  in  the  minutest  detail  to  accommodate  the 
needs  of  the  reading  public,  forthwith  was  presented  to 
the  Town  of  Vernon  with  the  thought  carefully  concealed 
in  the  hearts  of  the  donors  that  it  would  never  become  a 
burden  to  the  recipient  and  it  never  has.  Through  these 
years  the  same  painstaking  attention  has  been  kept  active 
and  productive  of  additions  and  gifts  to  enrich  the  body 
of  the  institution,  first  by  one  member  of  the  family  and 
then  by  another.  The  library  was  never  permitted  to  close 
its  books  with  a  deficit. 

Finally,  their  generosity,  shining  the  brightest  as  they 
bade  goodbye  to  friends  and  relatives  for  the  last  time, 
has  lighted  the  path  whereby  the  Rockville  Public  Library 
will  move  ahead  untroubled  to  its  destiny  as  a  real  friend 
and  public  servant  to  those  for  whom  the  Maxwell  Family 
intended  it. 

It  is  a  privilege  to  have  lived  with  people  like  these. 
We  may  well  thank  God  that  this  opportunity  has  been 

Recorded  in  the  Minutes  of  The  Corporators  of 
the  Rockville  Public  Library  at  the  Annual 
Meeting  held  on  January  26,  1943. 


Portraits  of  Mrs.  Harriet  Kellogg  Maxwell,  George  Kellogg, 
Eliza  Noble  Kellogg  and  Nathaniel  Olmstead  Kellogg  were  pre- 
sented to  the  library  by  the  late  William  and  J.  Alice  Maxwell, 
while  that  of  Colonel  Francis  McLean  was  presented  by  his  great- 
great-granddaughter,  Mrs.  Mae  Dickinson  Chapman. 

Inscription  on  painting  on  card:  "Colonel  Francis  McLean, 
son  of  Alexander  McLean,  born  in  Bolton,  September  26,  1777,  died 
in  Vernon,  November  18,  1861 — one  of  the  Founders  of  Rockville." 
(A  fine  piece  of  restoration  by  Gustave  A.  Hoffman,  of  Rockville.) 

Portrait  of  Mrs.  Maxwell,  done  by  Charles  Noel  Flagg;  Mrs. 
Harriet  Kellogg  Maxwell,  daughter  of  George  Kellogg,  born  May 
2,  1824,  married  November  3,  1846,  died  January  24,  1913. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  George  Maxwell,  parents  of  Colonel  Francis  T. 
Maxwell,  William,  Robert,  and  Miss  J.  Alice  Maxwell. 



Title  Page 

Approaching  the  City  of  Rockville 279 

The  Choice  of  a  Name 280 

Fox  Hill   283 

List  of  Mayors  and  Clerks 286 

The  City  of  Rockville 287 

Inauguration  of  City  Government 291 

First  City  Council  Meeting 292 

Records  of  Preliminary  Meetings  of  Aldermen 293 

18  City  Administrations  from  1890  to  1954 294 

The  Fire  Department  of  the  City  of  Rockville 335 

Title  Page 

Entrance  to   City 279 

Fox  Hill   282 

Old  View  from  Fox  Hill 283 

View  from  Fox  Hill  Looking  West 285 

New  Seal  of  City 287 

Samuel  Fitch  291 

Swimming  Pool  at  Henry  Park 332 

Old  "Fire  King" 334 



Rockville  is  a  charming  little  city,  resting  in  a  valley  cup,  sur- 
rounded by  majestic  trees  and  sunny  hillsides.  It  is  situated  one 
hundred  and  twenty  miles  northeast  of  New  York,  and  eighty-two 
miles  south  of  Boston,  as  the  airplane  flies.  Its  outlines  were  orig- 
inally sketched  by  the  supreme  architect  of  the  universe. 

As  one  approaches  it  from  the  east  by  way  of  the  ancient  Tol- 
land hills  he  is  attracted  by  the  romantic  lake,  the  Shenipset,  and 
charmed  with  its  pellucid  water  and  emerald  shores,  its  wooded 
bluff  and  sloping  beach;  if  he  approaches  it  from  the  west,  he  be- 
holds a  panorama  of  terraced  houses  rising  tier  above  tier  to  the 
top  of  the  hills,  resembling  a  Mediterranean  city  which  lies  close 
to  the  shore;  if  he  enters  the  city  from  the  north,  the  farmlands  of 
historic  Ellington  offer  him  an  enchanting  spectacle  of  Fox  Hill 
and  an  impressive  War  Memorial  Tower;  and  if  he  chooses  to  en- 
ter it  from  the  south,  an  unbroken  range  of  mountains  provides  for 
the  landscape  a  long,  magnificent  vista,  and  gives  the  busy,  hope- 
ful city  of  eight  thousand  souls  a  sense  of  security. 




For  more  than  a  hundred  years  Rockville  remained  a  hamlet 
without  a  name.  Its  earliest  history  is  imbedded  in  the  Town  of 
Vernon.  The  few  inhabitants  at  the  beginning  clustered  around 
the  mills  in  a  chain  of  little  houses,  and  when  in  the  year  1836 
the  population  grew  to  440  (61  families  with  89  children  under  ten 
years  of  age)  the  villagers  desired  a  permanent  name  for  the  neigh- 
borhood to  which  they  had  been  drawn  by  the  beginnings  of  in- 

Families  then  living  in  Rockville  were:  Horace  Vinton,  Rufus 
West,  Charles  T.  Talcott,  Seth  W.  Johnson,  Nehemiah  Daniels, 
James  Stewart,  John  Williams,  Mrs.  Northrop,  George  C.  Weston, 
Chauncey  Loomis,  Winslow  Woods,  Trumbull  Tracy,  J.  F.  Judd, 
George  Kellogg,  Lucius  Hinckley,  Billings  Bugbee,  Mrs.  Parmelia 
Dimmock,  Selden  McKinney,  Austin  McKinney,  Willard  Fuller, 
Loomis  Thompson,  Jehiel  Fuller,  W.  O.  Hough,  Sanford  Grant, 
John  Gilmore,  Eli  Hammond,  William  T.  Cogswell,  Widow  Otis 
McLean,  Jr.,  George  Lee,  Christopher  Burdick,  Chauncey  Win- 
chell,  John  Wyman,  Joel  Snow,  William  Kent,  William  Wiston, 
David  Packard,  Gurdon  Grant,  Francis  Grant,  Samuel  Moredock, 
Horace  Thompson,  Benjamin  Waller,  Joel  Vinton,  Ralph  Barber, 
Enoch  W.  Daniels,  Ephraim  Sanford,  Isaac  Sanford,  A.  G.  Fitch, 
Andrew  W.  Tracy,  Simon  C.  Chapman,  William  Champin,  Miner 
Preston,  Charles  A.  Buckland,  William  T.  Lynch,  Joseph  D.  Met- 
calf,  Ephraim  Parker,  Benjamin  Johnson,  Carlo  West,  Halsey  Ful- 
ler, Mrs.  John  Stebbins,  Elizur  Hurlbut,  and  Elijah  Payne. 

In  the  early  whisperings  of  spring,  1837 — a  year  of  fiscal  mal- 
nutrition— an  amateurish  notice  posted  on  the  Rock  Mill  announced 
a  public  meeting  in  the  lecture  room  of  the  village  to  decide  in  a 
democratic  way  the  most  suitable  name  for  the  vicinity.  Very 
soon  the  village  would  have  a  post  office  of  its  own,  and  a  perma- 
nent name  would  then  be  necessary.  A  vigorous  controversy  in- 
troduced a  number  of  suggestions:  the  name  of  Frankfort  in  honor 
of  a  pioneer,  Francis  McLean;  Vernon  Falls  won  a  chirp  of  en- 
thusiasm; Grantville  would  perpetuate  the  memory  of  the  first  resi- 
dent; a  fiery,  arm-waving  speech  favored  Hillborough,  because  of 
the  hilly  nature  of  the  village;  but  the  granitic  solidity  of  Rock- 
ville seemed  inevitable.  "Going  to  the  Rock"  was  a  common  ex- 
pression understood  on  the  streets  and  a  safe  compass  for  direction. 



A  certain  Simon  C.  Chapman,  who  kept  a  local  boarding  house, 
and  who  knew  from  daily  table  discussion  the  wishes  of  the  male 
population,  acted  with  commendable  alacrity  and,  without  marked 
brilliance  or  artifice,  submitted  the  name  of  Rockville.  So  Rock- 
ville  became  the  name  of  the  growing  demesne. 





Fox  Hill  overlooks  the  famous  Connecticut  Valley,  and  pre- 
sents a  panorama  of  some  of  the  most  charming  landscape  scenery 
to  be  found  in  New  England.  From  its  summit,  six  hundred  and 
ninety-three  feet  above  sea  level,  a  magnificent  view  of  the  city, 
its  immense  mills,  its  stately  churches,  and  schools  and  other  public 
buildings,  its  attractive  homes,  and  well-kept  parks,  may  be  had. 

Far  away  may  be  seen  Mt.  Holyoke,  Mt.  Tom,  Enfield,  Suf- 
field,  Scantic,  East  Granby,  Bartlett  Tower,  Talcott  Mountain,  a 
peak  in  Barkhamstead,  Guilford,  Durham,  Middletown,  Meriden 
Mountains,  and  the  golden  dome  of  the  Capitol  at  Hartford.  Two 
other  points  may  be  seen  with  strong  glasses — Mt.  Greylock,  the 
monarch  of  Massachusetts,  and  the  Town  of  Blandford. 

The  top  of  Travelers'  Tower,  Hartford,  according  to  City  En- 
gineer Robert  J.  Ross,  is  582.5  mean  sea  level,  while  the  highest 
point  on  Fox  Hill  is  693  feet  above  sea  level.  The  railroad  track 
on  Market  Street  is  391  feet;  the  top  of  Snipsic  dam,  515  feet;  the 
post  office,  401.4  feet;  and  the  Memorial  Building,  401  feet.  The 
lowest  point  in  the  city  is  at  the  corner  of  West  and  Union  Streets, 
which  has  an  elevation  of  32.6  feet. 

The  name  of  Fox  Hill  came  by  its  own  right.  It  was  nearly 
covered  with  heavy  timber,  and  there  was  plenty  of  wild  game, 
partridges,  gray  squirrels  and  rabbits.  Foxes  had  their  dens  on  the 
hill.  There  was  as  much  snaring  of  game  as  gunning  in  the  early 
days  of  the  town.    Where  the  Gaynor  Place  and  Chestnut  and  Pros- 


ii*  fltclswi!  af  Vera«i 
wi  tfe  a  pAjmlahon 
Su  of  fcflarics.U. 

Females  tlo.  3'in. 
('  i 




pect  Streets  are  now  situated  were  then  pine  and  hemlock  and  chest- 
nut trees.  People  in  the  village  could  sit  on  their  doorsteps  in  the 
evening  and  hear  the  whippoorwills  on  Fox  Hill. 

A  hundred  years  ago  the  height  of  Fox  Hill  was  the  subject 
of  much  discussion.  In  the  year  1847,  Superintendent  Kershaw, 
of  the  Windermere  Mill,  and  Francis  Keeney,  then  landlord  of  the 
Rockville  House  differed  in  their  calculations,  and  finally  decided 
to  settle  the  matter  by  a  wager,  the  loser  to  pay  for  a  supper  at 
the  hotel.  The  question  to  be  decided  was  the  height  of  Fox  Hill 
from  the  level  of  the  railroad  track.  Kershaw  won  the  argument, 
and  Keeney,  known  always  for  his  good  sportsmanship,  entertained 
seventy  guests.     Invitation  cards  had  this  wording: 

Fox  Hill  302  Ft.  9  in. 


At  Rockville  Hotel 

Friday  evening,  December  12,  1847 

from  7:30  to  11  o'clock 

Refreshments  consisted  of  oysters  cooked  in  every  conceivable 
style,  cake  and  fruit.  There  were  mirthful  speeches,  and  the  party 
proved  so  successful  that  it  was  decided  Fox  Hill  should  be  meas- 
ured again  at  a  not  too  distant  date. 

Not  everybody  knows  that  in  the  year  1878  a  tower  was  erected 
on  Fox  Hill — Jeffery's  Tower.  A  Mr.  Jeffery,  of  Meriden,  came 
into  possession  of  a  piece  of  land  at  the  summit  and  decided  to 
build  a  tower  sixty  feet  in  height  and  rectangular  in  form;  twenty 
feet  square  at  the  base,  tapering  to  ten  feet  square  at  the  top.  The 
first  story  was  boarded  up,  but  the  upper  stories  or  platforms  were 

Jeffery  had  married  a  Porter  girl — a  sister  of  the  artist  Charles 
E.  Porter.  The  homes  of  Henry  Vanness  and  Charles  E.  Porter 
stood  side  by  side  on  the  hill. 

Jefferry's  Tower  was  opened  to  the  public  on  Wednesday,  May 
29,  1878.  In  the  top  story  a  fine  four-foot  telescope  was  placed  for 
the  use  of  visitors.  The  admission  to  the  tower  was  fifteen  cents. 
Ice  cream  and  other  refreshments  were  served  to  order  in  the  base- 
ment. A  steady  stream  of  visitors  enjoyed  the  fireworks  and  music 
and  illuminations  on  the  Fourth  of  July  of  that  year. 



Unfortunately,  two  years  later,  on  February  3,  1880,  a  blizzard 
blew  down  Jeffery's  Tower,  and  the  building  trembled  like  a  tele- 
phone wire  in  a  storm.  Later,  Charles  E.  Porter,  an  artist  of  no 
mean  reputation,  used  the  first  story  for  a  studio,  and  there  in- 
structed pupils  in  painting  and  drawing,  in  a  temperature  which 
occasionally  dropped  an  uncomfortable  distance  below  zero. 




Samuel  Fitch — Manufacturer  1890-1891 

William  V.  McNerney — Carpenter  1891-1893 
E.  Stevens  Henry — Banker,  but  preferred  to  be  called  a  farmer     1894-1895 

Edwin  L.  Heath — Bookkeeper  Rock  Company  1896-1899 

William  H.  Loomis— Dentist  1900-1903 

George  Forster — Shoe  Store  Owner  1904-1911 

Lyman  Twining  Tingier — Lawyer  1912-1913 

S.   Tracy  Noble — Bookkeeper  Hockanum   Company  1914-1915 

John  P.  Cameron — Bookkeeper  Hockanum  Company  1916-1919 

Frederick  G.  Hartenstein — Printer  1920-1921 

Joseph  Grist — Weaving  Overseer  Springville  Mill  1922-1923 

John  P.  Cameron — Bookkeeper  Hockanum  Company  1924-1927 

George  Forster — Shoe  Store  Owner  1928-1929 

Albert  E.   Waite — Bookkeeper  New  England  Mill  1930-1933 

George  C.  Scheets — Overseer  Springville  Mill  1934-1935 

Claude  A.  Mills— Stationer  1936-1941 

Raymond  E.  Hunt — Paymaster  Hockanum  Mills  1942-1947 

Frederick  S.  Berger — Niles-Bement-Pond  office  1948- 


Parley  B.  Leonard  (1  term  of  2  years) 
Martin  Laubscher  (1  term  of  2  years) 
Frank  A.  Randall  (6  terms  of  12  years) 
John  N.  Keeney  (8  terms  of  16  years) 
Raymond  E.  Hunt  (10  terms  of  20  years) 
F.  Leroy  Elliott  (2  terms  of  4  years) 
Catherine  D.  Moran  (1  term  of  2  years) 
Margaret  Kernan  (part  term) 

1949  to  May  1951  resigned 

Catherine  Moran  appointed  to  fill  term  and  reelected  in 

Dec.  1951  to  Dec.  1953 
Reelected  December  1953 


THE  NEW  SEAL.        \.     . 



For  thirty  years  there  was  a  growing  desire  to  make  Rockville 
a  city  or  a  borough,  and  as  early  as  the  year  1861  a  petition  was 
circulated  and  a  bill  introduced  before  the  General  Assembly  pro- 
viding for  a  borough  charter  for  Rockville,  but  it  was  adversely 

The  advantages  of  a  City  Charter  were  set  forth  in  the  early 
part  of  1884  in  the  local  press.  Many  citizens  asked  the  question: 
"Why  postpone  a  step  which  ought  long  since  to  have  been  taken, 
one  which  will  put  our  overgrown  village  into  its  proper  position 
among  the  leading  cities  of  the  State,  and  which  must  eventually 
prove  advantageous  to  all  who  call  it  home,  to  none  more  so  than 
the  very  taxpayers  who  now  shrink  from  it  on  the  ground  of  ex- 
pense?"   A  thorough  ventilation  of  the  subject  was  sought. 

A  wide-awake  place,  musical  with  the  roar  of  falling  waters 
and  the  cheerful  hum  of  industry,  enthusiastic  and  progressive, 
Rockville  claimed  the  giant  water  power  for  its  use  and  gathered 
gold  from  its  streams  by  the  hand  of  inventive  labor,  furnishing 
clothing,  both  cotton  and  woolen,  for  mankind,  paper  overcoats 
for  letters,  and  useful  thread  and  ornamental  silk  for  the  house- 
hold.   Why  should  it  not  have  City  control? 

The  city  government  would  be  entirely  independent  of  town 
management,  and  would  assume  the  absolute  control  of  its  streets 
and  highways,  fire  department  and  sewage.  It  could  make  and 
enforce  ordinances  respecting  buildings,  streets  and  walks,  street 



lighting,  the  preservation  of  the  public  peace,  all  matters  relating 
to  the  public  health,  and  a  thousand  other  things  necessary  to  the 
well-being  of  the  community. 

On  Friday,  February  1,  1884,  the  following  announcement 

"Notice  is  hereby  given  to  the  citizens  of  Rockville 
that  a  public  meeting  will  be  held  in  Rockville  Hall  next 
Monday  evening,  beginning  at  7:30  for  the  purpose  of  dis- 
cussing the  question  whether  Rockville  shall  be  made  a 
borough  or  a  city  in  this  year  of  our  Lord  1884.  All  who 
wish  to  express  themselves  on  this  very  important  ques- 
tion shall  rise  and  explain  at  Rockville  Hall  next  Monday 

Several  hundred  attended  the  meeting  for  the  purpose  of  dis- 
cussing a  definite  question,  "Shall  we  apply  to  the  present  legisla- 
ture for  a  borough  or  city  charter?"  Cyrus  White  vociferously  ex- 
claimed in  meeting:  "Our  taxes  for  the  last  twenty  years  have  been 
outrageous,  and  have  fallen  with  especial  force  upon  the  owners 
of  small  properties.  City  government  would  double  it.  This  bor- 
ough talk  is  all  poppycock."  A  motion  made  by  A.  P.  Hammond 
to  abandon  all  steps  toward  obtaining  a  city  or  borough  charter 
was  carried  by  an  overwhelming  majority.  The  session  lasted  only 
about  three-quarters  of  an  hour. 

An  editorial  two  years  later  reflected  the  attitude  of  the  vil- 
lagers toward  city  government: 

"If  there  is  cne  thing  needed  more  than  any  other  in 
our  village,  it  is  street  lights,  but  no  one  seems  to  be  anx- 
ious to  take  the  initiative.  A  movement  to  this  end,  how- 
ever, is  now  well  under  way,  and  on  Friday  evening  it  is 
expected  an  organization  will  be  formed  which  shall  make 
permanent  properly  lighted  streets.  Every  citizen  who  is 
obliged  to  go  about  our  streets  of  dark  nights  appreciates 
the  terrible  strains  he  gets  by  unexpectedly  stepping  off 
some  high  curbstone  into  a  deep  gutter,  or  into  a  gully 
washed  in  the  sidewalk.  Our  population  has  a  right  to 
expect  the  accommodation  of  more  light  for  their  comfort 
and  safety  during  their  evening  peregrinations.  Safety 
of  life  and  limb  demands  well-lio;hted  streets. 


'The  most  feasible  way  to  this  and  other  improve- 


ments  may  be  effected  by  means  of  a  Village  Improvement 
Society.  There  is  no  reason  why  Rockville  could  not  have 
a  Society  of  200  members.  Go  to  Rockville  Hall  on  Friday 
evening  to  assist  in  organizing  such  a  society  for  the  public 

At  a  meeting  a  week  later,  with  Brigham  Payne  as  chairman, 
it  was  decided  to  form  such  a  Society  with  a  membership  fee  of 

Three  years  later,  the  Hartford  Times  of  the  first  of  February, 
1889,  informed  us: 

"Over  800  signatures  have  been  obtained  in  Rock- 
ville to  the  petition  for  a  City  Charter.  The  people  are 
overwhelmingly  for  it.  The  mills — the  corporations  oppose 
it.  It  would,  they  think,  involve  the  cost  of  graded  and 
flagged  sidewalks,  perhaps  a  cost  of  $2.00  a  foot.  But  the 
crying  want  of  Rockville  is  a  system  of  sewerage.  It  is  sore- 
ly needed.  The  petitioners  for  a  city  charter  have,  to  re- 
inforce them  a  petition  to  the  Vernon  selectmen  by  400 
of  the  women  of  Rockville,  for  a  system  of  street  lights. 
The  selectmen  say  they  lack  the  authority." 

The  committee  hearing  on  House  Bill  #230,  incorporating  the 
City  of  Rockville  was  held  at  room  60,  at  the  Capitol,  Wednesdav 
afternoon,  February  27,  1889. 

E.  Stevens  Henry  was  the  first  gentleman  to  appear  before 
the  committee.     In  presenting  the  petition  he  stated — 

"Rockville  contains  the  largest  population  of  any  vil- 
lage in  the  State  without  some  kind  of  municipal  organiza- 
tion. The  petition  of  the  taxpayers  of  Vernon,  in  behalf 
of  a  city  charter  for  Rockville  numbers  over  six  hundred 
names,  enthusiastically  in  favor  of  the  proposed  charter. 

"In  addition  to  this  petition  to  the  General  Assembly, 
I  have  here  a  petition  addressed  to  the  Selectmen  of  the 
Town  of  Vernon  and  signed  by  more  than  400  representa- 
tive ladies  of  Rockville,  'We,  the  undersigned,  members  of 
the  Women's  Christian  Temperance  Union  and  ladies  of 
Rockville,  lamenting  the  unsafe  conditions  of  our  streets 
and  the  frequent  outrages  perpetrated  under  cover  of 
darkness  and  believing  that  existing  circumstances  demand 
prompt  action,  do  most  earnestly  petition  your  honorable 


body  to  so  increase  lights  and  police  force  on  our  streets 
as  to  make  them  as  safe  as  possible  for  the  unprotected.' 
This  petition  of  the  ladies  was  respectfully  returned  by 
one  Selectman  with  regret  that  under  existing  law  it  could 
not  be  granted  by  the  Town." 

Other  gentlemen  to  appear  before  the  committee  were  Judge 
West.  George  M.  Paulk.  William  V.  McNamey  and  G.  W.  Randall. 

The  Legislature  of  the  State  of  Connecticut  approyed  a  Char- 
ter incorporating  the  Cits'  of  Rockyille  on  March  28,  1889. 

Thus  the  curtain  of  the  recorded  history  of  the  City  of  Rock- 
yille  was  raised  on  April  13,  1889,  for  on  that  day  the  yoters  of 
Vernon  declared  their  deliberate  choice  for  a  City  Charter.  There 
had  been  more  thinking  than  talking  on  the  subject  among  the 
citizens  for  a  long  time,  and  the  ballot  disclosed  963  yoters  fa- 
\ored  the  Charter,  while  127  were  opposed  to  it. 

The  adopted  charter  had  been  prepared  with  considerable 
thought.  Charters  from  other  cities,  notably  Danbury,  had  been 
examined.  Finally,  the  selectmen  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  were 
instructed  to  call  the  first  annual  meeting  of  the  City  of  Rockyille. 

The  warrant  for  the  first  meeting  of  the  Citv  of  Rockyille  read: 

"Freemen  of  the  City  of  Rockyille  who  are  electors 
and  equally  qualified  to  yote  at  the  meeting  of  said  citv 
are  hereby  warned  that  the  first  Annual  Meeting  of  said 
Citv  will  be  held  on  Monday,  December  2,  1889.  The  city 
officers  to  be  elected  are  a  mayor,  a  clerk,  a  treasurer,  a 
citv  sheriff,  two  auditors  and  three  assessors.  The  ward 
officers  to  be  elected  in  each  ward  are  an  alderman  and 
two  councilmen." 

The  first  municipal  election,  December  2,  1889,  was  closely 
contested.  Samuel  Fitch,  Republican,  was  elected  mayor  by  a 
majority  of  only  se\*en  yotes  over  Silas  Putnam,  Democrat  (597- 
590 ) .  Fitch's  election  occurred  on  his  68th  birthday.  ( He  was 
born  December  2,  1821,  at  Enfield,  Connecticut.) 



The  officers,  including  the  aldermen  and  councilmen,  met  in 
the  Fitch  Building  on  Monday  evening,  January  6,  1890,  as  re- 
quired by  the  charter,  and  to  them  was  administered  the  oath  of 
office  by  Mayor  Fitch,  who  had  been  previously  qualified,  and  was 
duly  certified.     Mayor  Fitch  addressed  the  assembly  thus: 

To  the  Honorable  Board  of  Common  Council: 

The  General  Assembly  at  its  January  session,  1889,  passed 
an  act  incorporating  the  City  of  Rockville,  and  in  said 
act,  the  Mayor  is  directed  to  recommend  the  adoption  of 
all  such  measures  connected  with  peace,  securitv,  health 
and  general  well-being  of  said  city,  and  the  improvement 
of  its  government  and  finances  as  he  shall  deem  expedient. 



We  are  entering  upon  a  field  of  action  that  is  new  to  most, 
if  not  all  of  us.  Let  moderation  and  equity  prevail,  and 
laying  aside  all  party  prejudice,  may  we  do  those  things 
which  our  consciences  shall  dictate  to  us  are  right  for  the 
best  interests  of  the  city  at  large,  to  the  end  that  when 
our  terms  of  office  shall  have  expired,  we  may  receive  the 
approval  of  our  constituents. 

To  perform  the  duties  of  mayor  in  his  absence  or  in  case  of 
a  vacancy  he  appointed  W.  E.  Payne  as  President  of  Aldermen,  and 
Edwin  L.  Heath  President  Common  Council. 

The  Woman's  Christian  Temperance  Union  presented  a  peti- 
tion which,  after  congratulating  the  Mayor  on  his  elevation  to  that 
office,  prayed  that  the  laws  against  the  sale  of  intoxcating  drinks, 
Sabbath  violations  in  sale  of  liquors,  sale  of  cigars  and  cigarettes 
to  minors  under  16  be  rigidly  enforced,  and  they  made  a  protest 
against  the  display  of  indecent  pictures  and  posters,  and  asked  for 
a  public  reading  room.  They  also  expressed  a  desire  for  electric 
lights  to  make  the  streets  safer  and  more  comfortable  at  night,  a 
police  force,  the  regulation  of  building  lines,  and  local  improve- 
ments which  will  suggest  themselves  to  the  thinking  mind. 


The  first  meeting  of  the  City  Council  after  Rockville  had  be- 
come a  city  in  1890  was  held  on  the  evening  of  January  10  in  the 
council  rooms  of  the  Fitch  Block.  Those  present  at  this  first  Coun- 
cil meeting  were  E.  L.  Heath,  T.  S.  Pratt,  C.  E.  Harris,  Almon 
Harris,  H.  L.  Allen,  L.  Young,  and  J.  McPherson.  The  council 
voted  that  their  meetings  should  not  be  open  to  the  public  and  ad- 
mittance was  refused  to  the  newspaper  men.  But  with  the  assist- 
ance of  a  ladder  to  an  open  transom  in  an  adjoining  room,  and  a 
"leak"  from  one  of  the  members,  the  newspaper  reporters  were 
able  to  give  a  full  report  of  the  meeting  the  next  day.  There  was 
protest  from  many  citizens  against  the  closed  sessions. 

On  January  21,  two  weeks  later,  therefore,  it  was — "Resolved 
that  any  voter  of  the  city  of  Rockville  or  any  representative  of  the 
Press  shall  have  the  privilege  of  attending  the  meetings  of  the 
Board."     This  has  continued  to  be  the  policy  of  the  Council. 


The  first  meeting  of  the  aldermen  was  called  to  order  at  8:30 
p.m.  January  6,  1890,  with  Mayor  Fitch  in  the  chair. 

The  First  Resolution  authorized  the  Mayor  to  appoint  a  com- 
mittee consisting  of  one  alderman  and  two  councilmen  to  investi- 
gate the  matter  of  street  lights  as  to  number  of  lamps,  location 
of  same,  cost  of  same,  and  report  at  a  future  meeting. 

Resolution  2 — To  consider  the  matter  of  a  Police  Force. 

Resolution  3 — To  provide  amount  of  appropriations  necessary. 

Resolution  4 — To  recommend  consideration  of  Common  Coun- 
cil of  an  ordinance  regulating  building  lines  on  the  streets  of  the 

Voted — A  non-partisan  Police  Force  to  be  uniformed  and  to 
consist  of  four  men,  a  captain  and  three  patrol  or  policemen, — 
Captain  to  get  $750  per  annum;  patrolmen,  $45  per  month.  That 
was  amended  and  it  was  passed  that  patrolmen  be  paid  $52.50  per 

January  20,  1890.  Electric  Light  Company  to  furnish  60  lights 
for  not  less  than  300  nights  per  year  from  dusk  to  12  o'clock  mid- 
night, cost  of  same  not  to  exceed  $75  per  light  and  to  be  located 
and  strung  as  the  Common  Council  may  direct. 

February  3,  1890 — Committee  on  Electric  Lights — After  an 
interview  with  the  Committee  of  the  Rockville  Gas  Light  Com- 
pany and  receiving  a  proposition  from  Westinghouse  Electric  Com- 
pany to  light  the  streets  upon  a  five-year  contract  at  $75.50  per 
lamp,  recommended  asking  local  firm  to  meet  latter  offer. 




The  streets  of  Rockville  were  illuminated  by  the  electric  lights 
on  Sunday  evening,  January  5,  1890,  a  short  time  previous  to  "moon 
up."  Streets  were  crowded  with  people  to  enjoy  the  transforma- 
tion scene.  This  was  actually  for  demonstration  purposes  only, 
for  the  voters  had  not  yet  given  their  approval.  The  terms  sub- 
mitted by  the  Rockville  Gas  Light  Company — $80  per  light  from 
dusk  to  12  o'clock — seemed  excessive  to  the  city  fathers.  The 
Westinghouse  Electric  Comupany  offered  to  do  approximately  the 
same  work  for  $75.50  per  lamp  per  year  provided  they  were  given 
a  five-year  contract. 

In  spite  of  the  lower  offer  it  was  decided  to  do  business  with 
the  home  company,  who  had  already  put  up  the  poles,  lamps,  and 
wirings.  Further  negotiations  were  held  with  the  local  concern 
which  resulted  in  a  satisfactory  agreement. 

Then  further  developments  occurred.  On  March  7,  1890,  a 
number  of  merchants  met  to  make  plans  for  lighting  their  stores 
through  another  local  concern.  One  hundred  shares  of  the  stock 
were  taken  at  the  meeting  at  $25  per  share. 

On  the  first  of  May,  this  group  petitioned  the  City  Council 
for  the  right  "to  erect  poles  and  place  wires  in  and  through  the 
streets  for  the  purpose  of  supplying  electric  light  and  power" — 
through  the  Merchants'  Electric  Light  and  Power  Company,  George 
F.  Talcott,  president.  But  on  June  5  no  action  was  taken  at  the 
meeting,  and  the  matter  was  laid  on  the  table. 

July  27,  1890 — Voted  not  to  give  the  Salvation  Army  privilege 
to  stand  on  the  streets  to  hold  meetings. 

September  22,  1890 — The  need  of  a  new  lock-up  was  reflected 
in  Captain  Cady's  report.  The  number  of  lodgers,  tramps,  and  men 
out  of  work  finding  a  place  to  sleep  was  252:  number  of  arrests 
157,  drunks  95. 

November  4,  1890 — A  Committee  of  three  was  appointed  to 
see  if  corrections  or  revisions  of  the  city  charter  should  be  submit- 
ted for  action  at  the  next  session  of  the  legislature. 

February  12,  1891 — Voted  that  the  Selectmen  be  a  committee 
to  confer  with  the  New  England  Telephone  Company  for  the  pur- 



pose  of  having  a  telephone  located  in  police  headquarters  or  in 
town  clerk's  office  for  city  business. 

February  9,  1891 — Voted  to  dispose  of  the  old  hand  engine 
known  as  "The  Fire  King,"  upon  such  terms  as  seem  best  in  the 
interest  of  the  city. 

Mayor  Fitch  announced  in  his  second  annual  message  January, 
1891,  that  the  town  had  voted  to  turn  over  the  fire  department  to 
the  city.  He  expressed  a  desire  for  electric  lights  in  the  outlying 
districts,  and  wisely  remarked  that  new  enterprises  invite  new  in- 

September  15,  1891— The  Council  had  difficulty  in  getting  a 
quorum  at  the  meeting  on  Tuesday.  Finally  it  was  secured  by 
sending  a  hack  for  Councilman  Allen,  who  arrived  a  little  after 
the  appointed  hour  of  8  o'clock,  when  the  meeting  was  called  to 
order  by  the  Mayor.  Similarly,  because  of  the  absence  of  a  quo- 
rum on  Monday,  September  28,  no  meeting  of  the  aldermen  could 
be  held. 

October  15,  1891— F.  I.  Hartenstein  presented  a  bill  for  $2.32. 
Alderman  Tingier  explained  it  was  for  engraving  several  pairs  of 
handcuffs  for  the  police  department.  A  pair  had  been  stolen  and 
some  method  of  marking  those  remaining  seemed  necessary.  The 
bill  was  ordered  paid. 

The  very  year  Rockville  became  a  city  the  American  people 
were  swept  with  a  consuming  passion  which  left  them  with  little 
time  for  money  or  anything  else.  Many  theaters  were  closed,  con- 
sumption of  cigars  fell  off  at  the  rate  of  a  million  a  day,  trade  in 
pianos  dropped  50%.  The  distraction?  America  had  discovered 
the  bicycle,  and  everybody  was  making  the  most  of  the  new  free- 
dom it  brought.  Now  he  could  go  where  he  wanted,  when  he 
wanted,  at  a  speed  many  times  faster  than  he  could  walk,  and  with- 
out the  need  of  horse  or  public  conveyance. 

The  1890's  were  the  years  of  bicycle  popularity,  but  what  in- 
genuity marked  the  beginning!  In  1891  we  learn  H.  W.  Loomis  of 
Southington  is  making  a  unicycle  that  he  thinks  will  astonish  the 
world.  The  large  wheel  is  to  be  9  feet  in  diameter  and  inside  of 
this  an  arrangement  much  like  a  common  safety  wheel  runs.  The 
plan  seems  to  be  like  that  of  a  man  walking  inside  of  a  big  hoop, 
his  weight  when  thrown  forward  revolving  the  whole.  The  steer- 
ing wheel  is  in  the  rear,  and  is  worked  by  rods,  like  a  boat  rudder, 
from  the  handle  bar.  The  machine  is  expected  to  travel  a  mile  a 




William  V.  McNerney  became  mayor  at  a  favorable  time  finan- 
cially with  a  balance  on  hand  of  $8,039.91,  no  outstanding  notes, 
and  very  few  local  bills  to  pay.  It  is  alarming,  however,  to  dis- 
cover that  during  a  portion  of  the  year  1892  the  city  was  in  dark- 
ness, solely  because  the  estimates  for  the  fiscal  year  ending  No- 
vember 15,  1893,  could  not  be  exceeded  except  by  a  two-thirds 
vote  of  the  Common  Council  and  the  sanction  of  the  voters  at  a 
special  meeting  called  for  that  purpose.  This  the  Council  very  dex- 
terously avoided.  The  executive  could  not  in  any  way  bind  the 
City  in  excess  of  the  appropriation,  so  they  refused  to  sign  the  bills 
for  street  lighting  until  such  bills  came  within  the  appropriations. 
In  his  day,  Mayor  McNerney  dared  to  call  the  system  of  local  tax- 
ation antiquated,  unjust,  and  extortionate,  a  system  which  he 
claimed  discouraged  the  coming  of  new  industries  to  Rockville. 

On  Monday,  July  11,  1892,  the  Aldermen  passed  a  resolution 
to  shut  off  the  street  lights  on  July  15  until  such  time  as  a  satisfac- 
tory agreement  could  be  made  with  the  Electric  Light  Company. 
The  rates  had  been  raised  from  $75  per  lamp  to  $80  per  lamp,  and 
a  city  meeting  had  voted  not  to  pay  the  advanced  rate.  Follow- 
ing concurrence  of  the  Council,  the  lights  were  shut  off  Saturday 
night,  July  16,  1892,  and  the  city  was  in  darkness. 

No  longer  did  the  bright  rays  of  the  electric  lights  shed  a 
radiance  on  the  street!  Now  on  a  dark  night,  there  was  nothing 
to  prevent  a  man  from  running  into  hitching  posts  and  trees  or 
bunting  his  head  into  that  of  another  benighted  pedestrian. 

The  streets  of  Rockville  remained  in  darkness,  and  on  Sep- 
tember 19,  1892,  the  committee  on  lighting  reported:  Whereas  the 
Rockville  Gas  and  Electric  Light  Compairy  demand  $80  per  lamp 
for  a  period  of  300  nights  per  year,  running  from  dusk  until  12 
o'clock  midnight  and  other  companies  will  furnish  the  same  service 
under  bond  for  $70  per  lamp — Committee's  conclusion  is:  City 
must  adopt  one  of  three  courses — 

1.  Own  and  control  its  own  electric  light  plant. 

2.  Pay  the  Rockville  Gas  &  Electric  Light  Company  what 
they  demand. 

3.  Remain  in  darkness. 


A  discussion  on  the  electric  light  problem  at  the  October 
meeting  was  getting  very  lively  when  the  fire  alarm  rang.  The 
crowd  concluded  that  the  question  of  the  lights  could  wait  and 
made  a  rush  for  the  door.     The  meeting  adjourned  without  action. 

October  3,  1892 — Xo  quorum  being  present,  the  meeting  was 

At  the  meeting  on  October  4,  1892,  Alderman  Fahey  intro- 
duced a  resolution — Resolved  that  the  Electric  Light  Committee 
be  and  are  herebv  instructed  to  make  such  arrangements  with  the 
Rockville  Gas  Light  Companv  as  will  have  the  streets  lighted  until 
further  arrangements  can  be  made  in  accordance  with  the  citv 
votes  of  October  1,  1892.     This  was  adopted. 

October  17,  1892 — Alderman  Doane  introduced  a  resolution — 
Resolved  that  a  special  citv  meeting  shall  be  called  not  later  than 
November  15,  1892,  to  see  whether  the  city  will  authorize  the  Com- 
mon Council  to  appropriate  a  sum  not  exceeding  825,000  for  the 
purpose  of  purchasing  and  installing  of  an  electric  light  plant, 
including  the  necessary  land  and  buildings,  said  plant  to  be  owned 
and  operated  in  accordance  with  a  vote  of  said  citv  October  4,  1892. 
This  was  adopted. 

On  November  21,  1892,  Resolved  that  the  Mayor  be  and  is 
hereby  instructed  to  insert  in  the  warning  a  call  for  825,000  for 
the  purchase  and  installing  an  electric  light  plant,  including  the 
necessary  land  and  buildings,  also  an  estimate  of  86,000  for  the 
necessary  running  expenses  of  said  plant  or  so  much  as  mav  be 
necessary,  not  exceeding  86,000. 

Also  an  estimate  of  86,000  to  defrav  the  expense  of  lighting 
the  streets  of  the  city  under  such  arrangements  as  mav  be  made 
with  the  present  Rockville  Gas  Companv  to  light  said  streets  with 
arc  lights  of  1200  candlepower  at  $75.00  per  year  for  300  nights 
in  the  year. 

Prior  to  the  discussion  on  lights  it  was  decided  to  take  action 
against  New  York  and  New  England  Railroad  Company  to  compel 
the  company  to  construct  the  Railroad  bridge  over  the  proposed 
highway  from  Spring  Street  to  Grand  Avenue  in  accordance  with 
the  order  of  the  Railroad  Commission. 

January  16,  1893 — A  communication  was  received  from  Wm. 
H.  Marigold,  mayor  of  Bridgeport,  to  ascertain  if  the  Citv  of  Rock- 
ville would  be  willing  to  act  with  other  cities  in  an  endeavor  to 
have  laws  passed  by  the  legislature  relative  to  Electric  Street  Rail- 


ways  to  secure  rights  to  cities  which  they  do  not  now  possess.  A 
committee  was  appointed. 

July  24,  1893 — The  proposals  of  the  New  Gaynor  Electric 
Company  of  Louisville,  Kentucky,  to  furnish  and  install  a  Three 
Circuit  Electric  Fire  Alarm  System  were  considered  and  the  Mayor 
was  asked  to  execute  contract  of  $2,495  for  four  circuits  instead 
of  three. 

August  7,  1893 — Voted  to  contract  with  trustees  of  the  Meth- 
odist Society  for  the  use  of  said  Society's  church  tower  and  bell  for 
fire  alarm  purposes: 

1.  The  city  to  guarantee  the  bell  from  all  damage  by  use  of 
the  striker  thereon. 

2.  The  city  will  pay  any  increased  insurance  rate,  imposed  by 
reason  of  Fire  Alarm  wire  being  connected  with  said  build- 

3.  The  city  to  pay  said  Society  the  annual  rental  of  $30.00. 

August  17,  1893 — Report  of  High  School  building — new  struc- 
ture completed,  commodious,  complete  and  architecturally  hand- 

Of  local  interest  is  the  fact  that  Connecticut  Legislature  in 
the  year  1893  passed  a  statute  giving  libraries  established  under 
certain  conditions  an  annual  gift  of  books  valued  at  $100. 



The  fifth  year  of  Rockville's  municipal  history  found  a  young 
and  growing  city  confronted  with  a  season  of  business  depression 
which  paralyzed  local  industries.  Fortunately,  the  capable  E. 
Stevens  Henry  was  elected  mayor  in  1894.  He  devoted  much 
thought  to  practical  reforms:  the  improvement  of  streets;  electric 
roads;  the  need  for  economy;  unjust  taxation. 

As  to  streets,  this  is  his  timely  suggestion: 

"It  appears  eminently  proper  that  the  names  of  men 
and  of  families  associated  with  the  history  and  building 
up  of  Rockville  should  be  honored,  and  their  memories 
preserved  to  future  generations  by  using  their  names  to 


designate  our  streets,  parks,  and  public  places.  There  are 
several  objectionable  street  names,  and  short  streets  which 
lead  nowhere,  forming  a  cul-de-sac  but  styled  'avenues.' " 

A  firm  believer  in  the  electric  roads,  he  said: 

"The  steam  road  has  been  a  good  thing  for  Rockville, 
but  from  it  we  failed  to  get  what  we  anticipated,  what  we 
paid  for  and  what  we  had  a  right  to  expect.  In  the  con- 
struction of  the  electric  roads  lies  Rockville's  opportunity." 

As  to  the  depression  he  urged: 

"It  shall  be  our  endeavor  as  the  selected  guardians 
of  the  public  interest  to  use  our  best  efforts  to  reduce  pub- 
lic expenses  to  a  minimum;  not  forgetting  that  the  citizens 
of  Rockville,  whose  servants  we  are,  have  the  right  at  all 
times  to  require  of  us  a  careful  conservation  of  their  in- 
terests, and  that  most  especially  will  they  during  the  pres- 
ent period  of  public  stress  hold  us  to  a  strict  account- 
ability for  the  use  and  disposal  of  public  funds." 

As  to  taxation  he  said: 

"The  time  cannot  be  far  distant  when  our  people  will 
demand  a  reassessment  of  all  taxable  propertv  upon  a  just 
and  equitable  basis.  Of  many  things  needful  for  the  well- 
being  of  Rockville,  none  are  of  more  importance  than  Tax 

Progress  was  made  in  matters  of  transportation  according  to 
Mayor  Henry: 

January  17,  1895 — "Petitions  for  electric  street  railways  are 
as  plentiful  as  apples  in  a  good  year.  They  have  entirely  changed 
the  situation.  The  steam  roads  are  opposing  them  in  every  way  as 
dangerous  competitors,  especially  along  the  shorter  suburban  lines, 
where  they  parallel  the  steam  roads.  In  some  instances  the  elec- 
trics have  taken  the  whole  traffic  from  the  steam  roads." 

January  21,  1895— The  City  Seal. 

Alderman  Heath  presented  the  following  resolution: 

Whereas,  in  the  earlv  davs  of  the  Citv  government  a  seal  was 
adopted  which  at  the  time  was  deemed  sufficent  as  a  seal,  but  lack- 
ing in  artistic  design  and 

Whereas  the  Knowles  Loom  Works  of  Worcester,  Massachu- 


setts,  having  had  brought  to  their  notice  the  rather  crude  design 
of  a  loom  as  represented  on  our  city  seal,  have  seen  fit  to  tender 
the  city  a  design  of  a  Loom  with  the  background  of  our  hills  and 
Lake  Snipsic. 

Resolved  that  the  design  be  accepted  and  adopted  as  the  cor- 
porate seal  of  the  City  of  Rockville,  and  the  city  clerk  procure  a 
die  of  said  design  for  use  as  the  seal  of  the  City. 

Resolved  that  the  Knowles  Loom  Works  be  tendered  the 
thanks  of  the  Common  Council  for  their  good  will  towards  our  city 
as  shown  by  the  gift  of  said  design. 

January  31,  1895 — Announcement  made  that  the  railroad  is 
now  in  the  hands  of  the  receivers. 

July  25,  1895— Petition  for  Badge. 

Petition  presented  by  city  reporters  asking  city  to  designate  a 
badge  which  shall  be  worn  by  reporters  and  which  shall  be  recog- 
nized by  Fire  Department  and  Police  as  sufficient  authority  to 
admit  them  within  the  lines  at  any  fire. 

September  26,  1895 — The  Park  Association  gives  the  city  title 
to  Talcott  Park,  under  the  conditions  under  which  it  is  now  held 
by  the  park  association. 

1895 — This  year  an  important  change  was  made  from  separate 
to  joint  meetings  of  aldermen  and  council  with  the  sanction  of  the 

An  ordinance  regulating  bicycle  riding  was  passed:  "No  one 
shall  ride  unless  such  bicycle  has  a  bicycle  bell  attached  to  it.  He 
shall  have  full  and  absolute  control.  Fine  not  more  than  $15  nor 
less  than  $1.00." 

It  was  decided  at  the  same  meeting  to  enforce  more  strictly 
the  ordinance  in  regard  to  the  erection  of  buildings. 

March  19,  1896 — The  lockup  according  to  last  report  had  308 
lodgers  against  671  in  the  same  time  last  year. 



Edwin  L.  Heath  became  mayor  in  1896,  continuing  in  office 
until  1900.  He  filled  out  the  unexpired  term  of  E.  Stevens  Henry, 
who  was   elected  as   Congressman.     Evidently   liability   insurance 


companies  were  not  very  aggressive  then,  for  the  mayor  had  diffi- 
culty in  obtaining  bonds  for  the  city  officials.  "It  has  come  to  my 
notice,"  so  the  mayor's  message  runs,  "that  there  is  a  growing  diffi- 
culty to  get  even  good  friends  to  act  as  surety  on  bonds  of  this  or 
any  other  character." 

A  proposition  from  the  Hartford,  Manchester,  and  Rockville 
Tramway  Company  offering  electric  service  between  Rockville  and 
Hartford  was  received  and  favorably  considered. 

In  1897  Eugene  V.  Debs  spoke  in  the  Opera  House  to  500 

January  6,  1898 — First  meeting  of  Council  of  1898 — Mayor 
Heath  expressed  the  desire  for  good  macadam  roads  for  city,  and 
permanent  road-building,  little  by  little.  Hammond  Park  at  the 
junction  of  Main,  Union  and  Elm  Streets,  after  grading  and  stocked 
down  in  the  early  spring,  will  prove  it  was  good  judgment  to  save 
this  as  a  green  spot  rather  than  throw  it  out  as  roadway. 

Standpipe  on  McLean's  Mill  completed. 

The  advisability  was  discussed  of  erecting  a  building  in  the 
rear  of  the  Memorial  building  to  provide  not  only  for  the  Fire  De- 
partment apparatus  but  also  room  for  Police  Department  and  City 

Congratulations  were  extended  to  Charles  Phelps  on  his  elec- 
tion as  Attorney  General,  the  first  to  fill  that  office  in  the  State. 

January  23,  1896 — Meeting  of  the  Corporators  of  the  Rockville 
Public  Library  held  in  Los  Amigos  Hall  last  Friday.  The  $10,000 
legacy  left  by  George  Maxwell  was  accepted — $12,600  with  in- 
terest— and  a  check  of  $10,000  from  the  town  of  Vernon  was  pre- 
sented and  accepted. 

"In  view  of  the  fact  that  the  postmaster  general  has  ordered 
free  delivery  in  the  City  of  Rockville  to  take  effect  April  1,  1896, 
and  the  systematic  numbering  of  all  the  houses  within  the  city 
limits  is  essential  to  such  free  delivery,  the  Court  of  Common 
Council  hereby  authorizes  Lewis  M.  Jones  to  do  such  numbering 
under  the  direction  of  the  Superintendent  of  Public  Works,  the 
said  numbering  to  be  done  at  the  expense  of  the  property  owners 
and  without  cost  to  the  city." 

Rockville  became  connected  with  outside  world  by  trolley  on 
Saturday  morning,  January  8,  1898.  Scheduled  for  6:45,  the  first 
car  was  run  by  the  Hartford,  Manchester  and  Rockville  Tramway 
Company.     It  was  a  never-to-be-forgotten  day  in  the  town's  his- 


tory  and  marked  a  new  epoch  in  transportation.  Owing  to  a  delay 
in  cutting  away  the  ice  at  West  Street  which  had  formed  in  the 
flangewavs  of  the  rails,  the  trollev  seemed  a  long  time  coming,  but 
when  it  actually  arrived,  ten  minutes  late,  there  was  genuine  re- 
joicing. Two  extra  cars  were  run  on  Sunday,  the  9th,  to  accommo- 
date the  rush.  Charles  Mensig  paid  the  first  nickel.  The  whole 
town  went  trolley  wild — the  line  was  popular,  the  fare  nominal. 
For  two  years  people  had  talked  trolley,  trolley,  trolley.  Now 
the  trolley  was  actually  here. 

The  Company  made  its  fare  for  school  children  three  cents 
from  Rockville  to  Talcottville,  consequently  about  all  those  attend- 
ing the  Rockville  school  from  that  section  traveled  trolley  de  luxe. 

In  January,  1906,  the  New  York,  New  Haven  and  Hartford 
Company  assumed  control,  having  purchased  the  road  from  the 
Shaw  syndicate. 

Hartford,  Manchester  and  Rockville  Tramway  Company  sched- 

First  car  leaving  Rockville  for  Hartford  at  6:45  a.m.  and  there- 
after hourly  until  9:45  p.m.  The  car  leaving  Rockville  at  10:45 
p.m.  will  go  to  the  barn  at  South  Manchester,  as  will  the  theater 
car  which  will  arrive  in  Rockville  about  12:15  a.m. 

First  car  for  Rockville  in  the  morning  will  leave  Hartford  at 
7:15  a.m.  Cars  will  leave  thereafter  hourly  until  9:15  p.m.  There 
will  also  be  a  car  which  will  leave  Hartford  for  Rockville  at  10:45 
p.m.  if  the  performances  at  the  theaters  have  closed.  If  not,  this 
car  will  wait  for  passengers  coming  from  the  theaters. 

The  trolley  affected  the  railroad  immediately,  for  on  January 
17,  the  7:30  p.m.  train  for  Hartford  on  the  Rockville  branch  made 
its  regular  run  to  Vernon  (4  miles)  without  a  single  passenger. 
The  only  persons  in  the  cars  were  Conductor  Henry  Vanness,  the 
brakeman,  and  baggage  master  and  express  manager,  Wm.  Dowl- 

January  20,  1898 — Senator  T.  A.  Lake  secured  internal  reve- 
nue collectorship  Thursday — a  Rockville  man. 

Thursday,  January  27,  1898 — Methodist  parsonage  debt  paid. 
In  1889  parsonage  property,  a  commodious  dwelling  at  91  Union 
Street,  purchased  at  $3,800 — a  free  gift  to  the  trustees  of  the 
Church.  The  perseverance  of  the  Parsonage  Society  was  shown 
in  a  celebration  on  Friday  night  in  the  vestry  of  the  church. 

Thursday,    February    3,    1898 — Worst    snow    storm    since    the 


great  blizzard  of  March,  1888.  Snow  began  early  Monday  morn- 
ing. At  night  the  storm  increased  in  fury.  Tuesday  morning  found 
streets  piled  high. 

June  9,  1898 — The  Council  talk  again  of  consolidation  of  the 
city  and  town. 

In  1898  the  New  England  Railroad  is  absorbed  by  the  New 
York,  New  Haven  and  Hartford  Railroad. 

October  6,  1898 — Town  voted  to  abolish  the  bounty  on  foxes. 
The  town  paid  $28  for  dead  foxes  last  year. 

November  14,  1898 — Police  Captain  Cady's  report  for  the  year 
showed  with  unblinking  accuracy  138  arrests,  981  lodgers  as 
against  554  last  year. 

Heavy  snowstorm  a  day  or  two  after  Thanksgiving,  1898. 
Storm  began  early  Saturday  morning,  flakes  descended  in  a  lazy 
manner  and  kept  it  up  without  abatement  until  late  Sunday  after- 

In  his  January,  1899,  message  Mayor  Heath  called  attention  to 
the  need  of  a  comprehensive  system  of  culverts  designed  to  keep 
the  surface  water  which  collects  on  our  streets  during  heavy  storms 
from  running  directly  into  the  canals  and  ponds  of  our  factories 
and  mills. 

Mayor  Heath  declared  with  emphasis: 

"The  trolley  service  we  have  had  for  a  year,  and  have 
found  it  a  necessary  evil,  one  of  those  evils  we  are  com- 
pelled to  forgive;  for  which  we  must  acknowledge  it  has 
grievously  hurt  some  of  our  mercantile  lines  of  trade,  but 
it  has  at  the  same  time  provided  a  way  for  cheap  travel 
for  the  masses,  and  a  source  of  pleasure  to  nearly  all  in  the 
summer  time.  The  report  of  the  Captain  of  Police  noted 
that  the  number  of  lodgers,  not  all,  but  most  all,  are 
tramps,  last  year  over  the  year  1897  was  430,  a  gain  of 
nearly  78  per  cent.  This  increase  is  too  large,  and  if  the 
Police  Commission  or  the  Common  Council  can  devise 
some  means  of  lessening  the  number  of  tramps  who  come 
and  go,  the  residents,  especially  the  female  portion,  will 
appreciate  the  reduction  of  'weary  wayfarers.' " 

In  that  year  of  1899  an  appropriation  of  $800  was  made  for  a 
bathhouse  in  the  city  for  the  "benefit  of  those  who  have  not  the 
facilities  of  a  modern  bathroom." 


Tuesday,  November  29,  1899 — A  town  vote  rescinded  the  vote 
on  October  2,  when  consolidation  of  schools  was  carried.  The  total 
vote  546  of  which  399  in  favor  of  rescinding,  147  against,  majority 
252  for  rescinding.     Polls  closed  at  5  p.m. 

December  8,  1899 — Taxpayers  cut  down  the  appropriation  for 
the  Police  Department  $4,800  next  year.  The  adjourned  meeting 
was  one  of  the  liveliest  in  years — the  biggest  city  meeting  on  rec- 
ord. Probably  700  in  hall.  The  large  number  of  small  taxpayers, 
who  feel  the  burden  of  taxation  severely,  have  been  agitating  for 
a  year  for  a  cut  in  city  expenses,  and  attended  the  meeting  in 
force,  prepared  to  vote  solidly  for  retrenchment. 

Three  thousand  dollars  asked  for  steam  road  roller.  Retrench- 
ers  promptly  voted  this  down.  Appropriation  was  $6,750  instead 
of  $9,750  asked  by  the  Council.     Police  Department  next. 

It  was  moved  that  the  item  of  salaries  for  Police  Department 
be  made  $2,000  instead  of  $3,800  as  asked  for.  Carried.  The  force 
to  be  two  men — a  captain  and  one  patrolman,  the  former  to  do 
day  duty  and  the  latter  night  duty. 

December  19,  1899 — Monday  the  18th — Mayor's  last  meeting. 
He  thanked  the  Council  for  their  uniform  courtesy.  For  the  past 
10  years,  he  had  been  coming  to  the  Council  Chamber  every  other 
Monday  night.    He  had  tried  to  do  his  duty. 

Banquet  December  27,  Wednesday,  at  Rockville  House  in 
honor  of  retiring  Mayor  Heath  who  had  served  for  four  years. 

Friday,  October  19,  1900 — 200  citizens  assembled  at  Turn  Hall 
Wednesday  to  discuss  question  of  revoking  the  City  Charter. 



William  H.  Loomis  was  both  mayor  and  dentist,  with  an  office 
on  the  second  floor  of  the  Henry  Building.  He  came  to  Rockville 
in  1868  and  followed  the  practice  of  his  profession. 

For  the  first  time  in  the  city's  politics  the  Social  Democratic 
Party  waged  an  active  campaign  and  polled  227  votes;  the  regular 
Democrats  270.  In  his  first  annual  message,  he  reported  the  com- 
pletion of  the  Bath  House,  "which  was  opened  for  use  during  the 
summer  and  proved  an  unqualified  success." 

The  mayor  was  not  quite  satisfied  with  the  city  charter.     In 


copying  from  other  charters  certain  errors  had  crept  in  which  he 
desired  to  have  corrected.  His  questing  imagination  and  lively  pen 
brought  results. 

In  this  same  message  he  stated:  "A  considerable  interest  and 
close  observation  for  several  years  has  led  me  to  certain  conclu- 
sions on  the  subject  of  our  roads.  We  are  pursuing  "a  penny 
wise  and  pound  foolish"  method  in  our  present  plan  of  construc- 
tion and  repairs,  doing  the  work  only  to  have  it  speedily  undone 
by  the  first  severe  storm."  He  also  asked  that  adequate  provision 
be  made  to  take  care  of  the  storm  water  by  construction  of  suffi- 
ciently large  culverts. 

March  12,  1902 — A  petition  asking  Council  to  take  necessary 
means  to  compel  Rockville  Water  &  Aqueduct  Company  to  furnish 
pure  and  wholesome  water  for  domestic  purposes. 

On  the  20th  of  March,  1902,  the  city  at  special  meeting  ap- 
propriated $15,000  for  the  construction  of  a  storm  water  sewer. 

June  18,  1902 — A  petition  from  the  D.A.R.  asking  that  the 
name  of  Central  Park  be  changed  to  Winslow  Park.  The  petition 
stated  that  about  1847  Rev.  Horace  Winslow,  then  minister  of  the 
First  Congregational  Church,  by  zealous  effort,  and  assisted  by 
other  inhabitants  in  said  city,  converted  the  tract  of  land  now 
known  as  Central  Park  from  a  barren  waste  into  a  sightly  and  beau- 
tiful park.  The  proposed  change  of  name  would  do  honor  to  the 
minister.     The  petition  was  adversely  received. 

Captain  W.  H.  Cady  reported  the  number  of  arrests  for  1902, 
130,  and  suggested  the  appointment  of  a  captain  and  three  men  for 
more  efficient  police  protection:  a  captain  to  be  on  duty  during 
the  day,  two  men  on  night  duty,  and  a  third  man  day  and  night, 
under  certain  circumstances. 

Three  timely  suggestions  at  the  June  meeting  were — the  plac- 
ing of  a  few  settees  on  Central  Park;  care  of  our  shade  trees;  and 
that  garbage  disposal  be  provided  for  by  the  City,  collecting  twice 
a  week. 


The  danger  of  this  new  method  of  transportation  is  pointed 
out  in  a  clever  editorial  in  the  Rockville  "Leader"  of  March  2,  1900 
— "the  question  of  the  safety  of  the  people  when  the  electric,  gaso- 
linic  and  kerosenic  vehicles  shall  get  to  running  loose  on  our 
streets  is  one  worthy  of  serious  consideration.     In  other  cities  ex- 


perience  proves  thev  are  capable  of  cutting  up  about  as  many 
capers  as  the  bucking  broncho  or  the  traditional  mule.  From  six 
to  nine  miles  an  hour  according  to  circumstances  and  places  is 
about  the  legal  speed  for  a  horse,  but  these  inanimate  roadsters  it 
has  been  found  are  capable  of  getting  over  the  ground  at  the 
rate  of  twentv  miles  per  hour  or  even  more." 

The  evolution  of  the  automobile  was  slow.  It  is  recorded  on 
Augus  5.  1902 — "Christopher  Spencer,  of  Windsor,  was  in  town 
vesterdav  with  his  new  automobile.  It  is  built  in  the  form  of  a 
covered  deliverv  wagon  such  as  is  used  bv  dry  goods  stores  in 
large  cities.  It  has  wooden  wheels  with  solid  rubber  tires.  The 
propelling  power  is  steam  generated  bv  Kerosene  burners.  The 
boiler  is  tubular  and  will  stand  a  pressure  of  3,000  pounds  to  the 
square  inch.  The  safetv  valve  works  at  300  pounds  pressure  so 
there  is  no  danger  of  an  explosion.  The  automobile  recently  made 
the  trip  from  New  York  to  Hartford  in  one  day  at  an  average 
speed  of  10  miles  an  hour." 

A  few  vears  later,  Snipsic  Lake  proved  popular  to  hundreds 
of  people  to  see  a  Matthewson  automobile  on  the  ice.  Francis  J. 
Regan  in  his  new  car  took  several  spins  from  what  is  known  as  the 
"island"  up  to  the  Siegel  Place.  He  went  at  a  livelv  rate  of  speed 
and  seemed  to  enjov  the  sport  immensely.  Seated  with  him  in  the 
automobile  was  his  chauffeur.  Four  or  five  bovs  were  hanging  on 
to  the  rear  of  the  auto. 

Regan  was  the  first  man  ever  to  venture  on  the  ice  of  Snipsic 
Lake  in  an  automobile.  To  hold  the  weight  of  an  automobile  and 
two  men  the  ice  must  have  been  remarkablv  thick  and  solid. 

The  first  automobile  race  in  America  was  held  on  Thanks- 
giving Dav,  1895.  from  Chicago  to  Evanston,  Illinois,  and  return. 
The  average  speed  was  5.05  miles  per  horn-  for  the  52-mile  run. 
One  driver  in  the  race  had  to  drop  out  from   sheer  exhaustion. 



George  Forster  had  the  record  for  the  longest  period  of  service 
as  mayor  of  Rockville,  1904-11  and  1928-1929.  Throughout  those 
ten  vears  he  was  deeply  interested  in  the  installation  of  a  sewage 
disposal  plant.    He  started  a  new  system  of  bookkeeping,  aided  by 


city  clerk  Keeney.  What  a  faculty  he  had  of  congratulating  every 
department  of  the  Council!  It  adds  to  our  stature  to  read  that  in 
1910  the  community  was  thoroughly  law-abiding:  "The  City  is 
free  from  vice  and  there  are  few  disturbances."  You  may  add  to 
the  record  already  mentioned  two  others — at  his  inauguration 
Mayor  Forster  gave  the  shortest  message  ever  deilvered  on  such 
an  occasion  and  the  briefest  report  at  the  close  of  a  term  of  office. 

1904 — An  appropriation  of  $700  to  repair  the  walk  on  the  mid- 
dle road,  the  appropriation  same  as  previous  year  being  adopted. 

In  his  annual  message  to  the  Council  of  1905  the  Mayor  recom- 
mended Municipal  ownership  and  favored  city  control  of  the  light- 
ing plant.  Said  he:  "Public  ownership  of  public  utilities  has  been 
the  dream  of  the  people.    Macadam  roads  should  be  built." 

1906 — Sewage  Disposal  Plant  now  finished. 

1907 — Death  of  Captain  Cadv  of  Police  Department  an- 
nounced. He  was  a  kind  and  loyal  commander  and  a  true  friend 
of  Rockville. 


On  Sunday,  January  13,  1908,  the  Inter-urban  service  between 
Rockville  and  Hartford  was  inaugurated.  It  was  not  the  weather 
for  angels,  and  the  traffic  was  rather  light.  The  universal  verdict, 
however,  appeared  to  be  that  the  cars  ran  smoothly  and  that  the 
new  method  of  transportation  would  be  a  success. 

The  first  car  to  leave  the  Rockville  Depot  over  the  electrified 
steam  tracks  pulled  out  at  7  o'clock  in  the  morning  in  charge  of 
Conductor  P.  T.  Beaucar  and  motorman  Edward  M.  Thrall.  Con- 
ductor Whetstone  of  the  Highland  Division  acted  as  pilot.  George 
Cleveland,  of  Dobsonville,  who  boarded  the  car  at  Rockville,  had 
the  honor  of  being  the  first  passenger.  He  rode  as  far  as  Vernon. 
Mrs.  John  P.  Cameron  was  the  first  woman  passenger.  The  fare 
from  Rockville  to  Hartford  was  25  cents,  paid  in  five  installments. 

Grand  concert  by  Philip  Sousa  and  his  Band  at  the  Town  Hall 
Thursday  afternoon,  September  9,  1909. 

Thursday,  November  2,  1911 — Mayor  Forster  spoke  of  the 
natural  advantages  of  Rockville;  its  high  altitude,  bracing  air,  pure 
water,  a  healthful  city7.  But  it  won't  always  be  thus,  if  such  lax 
methods  as  prevail  in  some  sections  of  the  city  are  allowed  to  con- 
tinue. Garbage,  if  left  exposed,  is  a  breeder  of  disease  and  a 
menace.     There  ought  to  be  some  svstem  of  collection  and  dis- 


posal.  He  quoted  the  charter  giving  Council  power.  Householders 
could  furnish  cans  in  which  to  deposit  garbage.  Somebody  should 
be  employed  to  cart  it  away.  The  Council  voted  $1,000  for  health 

Rockville  should  have  an  all-night  street  lighting  service.  So- 
cial events;  doctors  called;  persons  hastening  for  a  physician;  in 
time  of  fire  all  would  benefit.  Let's  have  all-night  and  every  night 
electric  lights. 

Street  lighting  for  streets  1910— $7,300,  80  arc  lamps,  55  in- 
candescent lamps  burning  every  night  in  the  year,  except  moon- 
light nights  until  1  a.m. — increase  would  cost  $8,300.  Moon  doesn't 
alwavs  shine  when  the  almanac  says  so. 

1911 — Common  Council  of  1911  is  now  launched.  After  much 
voting,  Orren  O.  West  was  elected  president  of  the  Council. 

For  the  post  office,  the  Government  wanted  the  Yost  property 
( Jacob  Yost )  at  corner  of  Park  and  School  Streets.  The  Yost  prop- 
erty ideal  location  for  a  federal  building.  It  is  a  corner  lot,  104  ft. 
front  and  160  ft.  deep.  Yost  built  up  a  fine  property,  laying  out 
$17,000.  He  lived  there  many  years.  The  property  formerly  be- 
longed to  the  Rock  and  was  the  Mill  Boarding  House.  It  was  later 
bought  by  Dr.  Stiles.    Mr.  Yost  acquired  it  from  Dr.  Stiles. 

Thursday,  July  13,  1911 — Shirtwaist  Council  sacrificed  dignity 
for  comfort  last  Tuesday. 

Rock  Mill  shut  down.  Disagreement  between  owners.  About 
200  employees  out  of  work.  Closed  January  7  to  Wednesday, 
March  8,  1911. 



During  the  mayoralty  of  Lvman  Twining  Tingier — 1912-1913 
the  Fire  Department  occupied  much  of  the  Council's  time.  A 
fire  destroyed  the  Fitton  Fire  Engine  Company's  House  on  Pros- 
pect Street,  a  new  engine  house  was  built  at  a  cost  of  $10,000,  and 
a  new  steam  fire  engine  and  equipment  had  to  be  purchased. 
For  twenty  years  the  need  of  public  playgrounds  had  been  felt 
because  of  the  danger  involved  through  electric  cars  and  motor 
vehicles.     Mayor  Tingier  had  the  capacity  and  the  inclination  to 


think   deeply  on   public   affairs,   and   rendered   notable   service  as 
Lieutenant-Governor  of  the  State. 

March  26,  1912 — The  following  was  approved  and  accepted 
by  the  Council — "I,  Lyman  T.  Tingier,  mayor  of  said  city,  believ- 
ing that  the  Health  Officer  of  said  city  should  receive  an  annual 
salary  of  $125,  and  that  the  same  is  a  reasonable  compensation, 
therefore  do  hereby  fix  and  establish  said  salary  at  said  sum,  and 
the  same  to  be  paid  quarterly,  and  to  commence  on  the  first  day 
of  April,  1912,  all  being  subject,  however,  to  the  approval  of  the 
common  council." 

During  the  year  1912,  there  were  permanent  improvements — 
the  new  engine  house,  at  a  cost  of  $10,000,  the  Hale  Street  wall 
$1,200,  and  the  sludge  beds  $1,200.  The  fire  which  destroyed  the 
Fitton  Fire  Engine  Company's  house  on  Prospect  Street  compelled 
the  city  to  expend  about  $7,000  in  the  purchase  of  a  new  steam 
fire  engine,  hose  wagon,  hose  and  other  supplies.  Built  on  Pros- 
pect Street,  it  was  accomplished  on  an  8-mill  tax  and  included  the 
purchase  of  a  new  steam  fire  engine  and  other  fire  fighting  equip- 

The  City  Charter  again!  The  time  has  come  to  revise  or  rad- 
ically amend  it.  Unsuitable  now — there  is  no  need  of  a  council 
of  two  bodies. 

During  Mayor  Tingier's  administration  an  ordinance  prohibit- 
ing coasting  on  the  streets  was  repealed,  and  the  regulation  of 
coasting  placed  in  hands  of  the  mayor.  Should  not  be  allowed  on 
streets  where  coasters  cross  a  trolley  track  or  where  there  is  heavy 

Collection  of  garbage  introduced  within  certain  limits. 

December  15,  1912 — Certain  Ellington  residents  petitioned 
General  Assembly  to  annex  a  portion  of  the  town  of  Ellington  con- 
tiguous to  the  city:  annex  a  portion  north  of  the  city  line  as  far  as 
the  Butcher  Road  and  East  to  the  Tolland  line.  There  is  a  desire 
on  the  part  of  the  same  residents  to  become  a  part  of  this  munici- 
pality because  of  the  many  improvements  of  which  they  are  now 
deprived — fire  protection  and  sewer  privileges. 

The  parcel  post  business  at  the  Rockville  Post  Office  started 


off  briskly  on  January  1,  1913,  date  of  inauguration.  The  honor  of 
mailing  the  first  parcel  fell  to  Mrs.  Fred  Siegfried.  Total  packages 
received  20,  considered  large  as  the  office  was  closed  in  the  after- 
noon (New  Year's  half  holiday).  Only  two  packages  arrived  in 
incoming  mails. 

Julius  Rath,  a  man  from  Missouri  walking  around  the  world 
visited  Rockville  on  New  Year's  Day,  1913.  He  was  selected  from 
100  newsboys  to  walk  500,000  miles  around  the  Globe  in  18  years. 
He  must  neither  beg  nor  borrow  but  must  finish  with  $1,000  to 
his  credit  and  a  dog.  He  started  on  his  long  trip  from  St.  Louis, 
Missouri,  in  1897,  and  when  he  reached  Rockville  he  had  covered 
495,000  miles  and  had  worn  out  441  pairs  of  shoes.  He  was  enter- 
tained at  the  Rockville  House  on  January  1,  1913. 

July  15,  1913 — A  petition  presented  by  Burpee  Grand  Army 
Post  asking  the  Council  to  petition  the  War  Department  through 
Congressman  Mahan  for  two  regulation  army  artillery  guns  with 
carriages  was  on  motion  of  Alderman  Grist  and  accepted. 

September  23,  1913 — The  following  resolution  was  presented 
and  adopted — "Resolved  that  the  Mayor  appoint  a  committee  of 
six  which  shall  include  the  Mayor  and  Corporation  Counsel  and 
four  members  of  the  Common  Council  to  confer  with  the  members 
of  a  committee  appointed  by  the  Water  and  Aqueduct  Company 
to  ascertain  if  the  Company  would  sell  to  the  City  of  Rockville 
their  interest  in  said  Company,  and  at  what  price." 

December  30,  1913 — The  Street  Lighting  contract  for  a  period 
of  three  years  for  all  night,  every  night.  Service  was  presented, 
approved  and  accepted. 

Mayor  Tingier  called  the  attention  again  of  the  Council  to  the 
subject  of  public  playgrounds,  urging  their  support  and  that  of 
the  citizens,  and  asking  that  an  appropriation  be  made.  A  public 
spirited  citizen  has  offered  to  donate  a  part  of  the  apparatus  need- 
ed and  by  expenditure  of  about  $400  we  can  begin.  We  owe  the 
oncoming  generation  this  small  debt  and  believe  that  the  sum  re- 
quired will  be  well  invested. 

Voted  that  band  concerts  be  continued.  An  appropriation  of 
$500  was  made.  The  thousands  who  throng  our  streets  to  enjoy 
these  entertainments  attest  their  great  popularity;  they  attract  hun- 
dreds from  outside  to  our  city  and  are  of  benefit  to  our  tradesmen. 

It  was  announced  that  a  flag  pole  is  to  be  erected  in  Central 
Park  instead  of  on  the  Memorial  Building. 



191  1-1915 


In  the  world-shaking  year  of  1914,  S.  Tracy  Noble,  remem- 
bered always  as  a  strong  temperance  advocate,  guided  the  city  af- 
fairs as  mayor.  He  found  the  Police  Department  greatly  handi- 
capped through  the  lack  of  patrolmen.  In  no  uncertain  tone  of 
voice  he  declared,  "One  man  during  the  day  and  three  men  dur- 
ing the  night  cannot  properly  look  after  the  city."  His  second  an- 
nual message  indicates  that  there  was  an  unusually  large  number 
of  chimney  fires,  and  property  owners  were  urged  to  exercise  more 

February  24,  1914 — Resolved  that  no  policeman  or  super- 
numerary policeman  shall  be  a  member  of  the  Fire  Department 
on  and  after  May  1,  1914. 

March  10,  1914 — "Resolved  that  any  extra  duty  performed  by 
any  member  of  the  Fire  Department  by  order  of  the  Chief  or  as- 
sistant chief  shall  be  paid  at  the  following  rate — thirty  cents  per 
hour  between  six  p.m.  and  six  a.m.,  and  twenty  cents  per  hour  be- 
tween six  a.m.  and  six  p.m." 

May  5,  1914 — A  petition  of  the  Baptist  Church  Societv  "to 
raise  their  church  four  feet  and  build  cement  steps  to  sidewalk  on 
Union  Street."    This  was  granted. 

May  20,  1915— Superintendent  of  Streets,  F.  R.  Rail,  asked  for 
a  second  hand  automobile  promising  that  if  the  city  would  pur- 
chase one  he  would  run  it  and  take  care  of  it  without  further  ex- 
pense to  the  city. 

June  9,  1915 — A  special  meeting  voted  against  an  appropria- 
tion of  $400  for  a  Ford  car.  Nobodv  spoke  against  it.  but  the  vote 
was  54  in  favor  and  74  against  it.  Rau's  horse  had  played  out  be- 
cause of  so  much  business  and  so  much  territory  to  cover.  His 
salary  was  $900  a  year.  Now  his  enthusiasm  was  pereeptiblv 
blurred,  and  the  question  was  dropped. 

The  committee  appointed  by  a  former  administration  to  frame 
a  revision  of  our  Charter  for  submission  to  our  people,  procured 
copies  of  revised  charters  from  different  cities,  east  and  west,  from 
which  a  charter  was  drawn,  not  entirely  satisfactory  to  all  the  mem- 
bers, yet  all  agreed  it  was  better  adapted  to  our  eitv  than  the  one 
we  were  working  under,  and  presented  it  for  consideration  at  a 


special  city  meeting.  There  were  so  many  opinions  regarding  its 
several  features  that  the  Committee,  having  no  desire  to  force  a 
charter  not  acceptable  to  the  public,  dropped  the  matter,  excep- 
ting that  portion  relating  to  sidewalks,  which  seemed  to  meet  with 
approval,  whereby  the  city  at  a  special  meeting  warned  for  the 
purpose  could  vote  to  pay  one-third  the  expense  of  sidewalks,  the 
abutter  to  pay  two-thirds.  This  was  passed  by  the  legislature, 
signed  by  the  Government,  and  is  now  a  part  of  our  Charter. 

The  Home  Rule  Bill  passed  by  the  Legislature  giving  enlarged 
powers  to  a  city  was  read. 

1915 — The  Chamber  of  Commerce  and  the  Rockville-Willi- 
mantic  Lighting  Company  have  made  a  generous  proposition  to 
the  city  in  offering  to  furnish  and  install  a  row  of  lights  in  the 
center  of  the  city,  the  city  to  pay  for  the  lighting  only.  This  will 
add  to  the  beauty  of  the  center  of  the  city,  and  we  are  grateful. 



At  the  beginning  of  his  administration,  Mayor  John  P.  Cam- 
eron (1916-1920)  smilingly  announced  the  facts:  "For  the  first 
time  in  five  years  our  income  has  exceeded  our  disbursements.  We 
have  $1,719.61  on  hand,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  we  have  had  two 
of  the  most  disastrous  storms  in  the  history  of  the  city,  causing 
many  washouts."  He  expressed  gratitude  to  the  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce for  their  part  in  the  installation  of  new  lights  around  Central 
Park  and  on  Middle  Road. 

He  found  pleasure  in  announcing  the  gift  of  a  tract  of  land 
on  Fox  Hill  for  a  park  or  playground  purposes. 

We  are  reminded  of  the  First  World  War  experiences  when 
we  read  that  in  1918  the  city  faced  the  problems  of  material  and 
labor  shortages.  Said  Mayor  Cameron:  "It  has  been  next  to  im- 
possible to  get  oil,  being  necessary  to  get  priority  orders  from  the 

And  memory  is  stirred  when  one  reads  of  the  fearful  epi- 
demic of  influenza  keenly  felt  in  Rockville  at  that  time. 

Thursday,  October  10,  1918 — Rockville  High  School  building 
is  now  taken  over  by  a  Citizens'  Committee  and  transformed  into 
an  emergency  hosiptal  for  the  care  of  the  hundreds  of  persons  ill 


with  Spanish  influenza.  In  less  than  24  hours  after  the  plan  was 
decided,  a  score  of  patients  were  there.  Pneumonia  cases  were 
given  fresh  air  treatment.  The  Committee  secured  a  large  army 
tent  and  it  was  erected  on  Talcott  Park.  The  large  lawn  at  the 
rear  of  Dr.  Rockwell's  property  was  offered  and  accepted. 

October  31,  1918 — Hospital  closed  doors  at  Rockville  High 
School  Tuesday,  157  patients  entered  during  three  weeks  of  epi- 
demic, there  were  23  deaths.    Dr.  W.  B.  Bean  came  to  counsel. 

The  Public  Works  Committee  was  authorized  on  September 
19,  1916,  to  engage  the  services  of  an  Engineer,  with  a  view  to  as- 
certaining the  amount  of  sidewalks,  curbing  and  gutters  on  each 
street  of  the  city  that  required  to  be  put  in  good  condition,  and  to 
enable  the  Committee  to  make  an  intelligent  report  when  the  side- 
walk question  should  come  up  for  definite  action. 

On  January  3,  1917,  a  Petition  to  increase  the  Public  Works 
employees  from  24c  to  30c  per  hour  was  not  granted. 

Friday  evening,  April  20,  1917,  it  was  voted  to  appropriate 
the  sum  of  $15,000  for  new  sidewalks,  curbing  and  gutters. 

May  2,  1917,  it  was  voted  to  lay  sidewalks,  curbing  and  gut- 
ters on  the  following  streets: 

West  Main  Street,  north  side  1658  lineal  feet 
West  Main  Street,  south  side  303 

Brooklyn  Street,  north  side  390        " 

Vernon  Avenue,  west  side  80        " 

West  Street,  east  side  605 

Union  Street,  south  side  2540        " 

Union  Street,  north  side  1270 

Prospect   Street,   north  side  2685 

East  Main  Street,  south  side  1655 
Orchard  Street,  west  side  300        " 

Contractor  National  Concrete  Company  of  New  Haven,  Con- 
necticut.   Work  completed  in  the  Fall  of  1918. 

Sidewalks,  curbing  and  gutters  costs,  August  1,  1918,  total  cost 
$5,431.70.    Cost  to  City  $2,092.30.    Cost  to  Abutters  $3,339.40. 

The  entire  cost  of  installing  sidewalks,  curbing  and  gutters 
abutting  the  several  local  factory  properties  was  through  the  ef- 
forts of  Colonel  Francis  Regan  paid  by  the  factory  owners. 

January  28,  1919,  Mayor  Cameron  announced  the  appointment 
of  the  following  Memorial  Tree  Committee:  Col.  Francis  J.  Regan, 
A.  Leroy  Martin,  Horace  A.  Deal,  Alderman  Elmer  F.  Osborne  and 
the  City  Clerk,  John  N.  Keeney. 


George  B.  Milne  became  Chief  Fire  Commissioner. 

May  3,  1919 — Welcome  Home  Celebration  and  planting  of 
Gingko  trees  at  Maple  Street  School  grounds.  Governor  Holcomb 

At  12  o'clock  midnight  Thursday,  January  15,  1920,  poor  John 
Barleycorn  was  interred  by  the  Government  of  the  United  States, 
although  there  are  many  mourners.  No  bells,  no  flowers,  just  plain 
water  hereafter.  During  the  summer  there  are  more  on  the  water 
wagon  than  there  are  wagons  to  take  care  of  them. 

Thursday,  May  4,  1920 — Thinking  of  remodelling  the  Gaynoi 
property  on  Prospect  Street  for  a  hospital,  a  wooden  building  some 
80  years  old.     Some  people  are  for  the  Henry  site;  doctors  favor  it. 

March  5,  1920,  brought  a  great  blizzard. 

March  25,  1920 — There  was  a  wild  celebration  when  the  "lost 
child"  returned  after  seven  weeks'  absence.  Suspended  traffic  due 
to  storm,  which  started  last  Tuesday.  A  force  of  men  employed 
by  the  trolley  company  supplemented  by  100  men  and  boys  from 
Broad  Brook  and  Ellington  helped  in  re-opening  roads. 



Quite  a  little  excitement  was  aroused  when  in  the  city  election 
of  1920  the  vote  was  so  close  as  to  call  for  a  recount.  The  candi- 
dates were  John  P.  Cameron  and  Frederick  Hartenstein. 

Attorney  Thomas  F.  Noone  represented  Mr.  Frederick  G. 
Hartenstein  and  Attorney  Charles  Phelps  represented  Mr.  John  P. 
Cameron  in  the  breath-taking  court  proceedings.  The  sealed  bal- 
lot boxes  from  each  of  the  four  wards  were  placed  in  the  custody 
of  the  city  clerk,  John  N.  Keeney,  by  the  court,  who  appointed  the 
following  counters  to  re-examine  the  protested  votes:  Parley  B. 
Leonard,  William  A.  Kuhnly,  Frederick  J.  Cooley,  John  N.  Keeney. 
It  was  the  first  and  only  recount  in  the  city's  history. 

The  original  count  had  given  Hartenstein  644  and  Cameron 
643.  The  recount  changed  the  figures  to  Hartenstein  628,  and 
Cameron  624.  Consequently,  Judge  Maltbie  declared  the  person 
of  Frederick  G.  Hartenstein  "the  rightful  elected  Mayor  of  the  City 
of  Rockville."  For  two  years  (1920-1922)  Mayor  Hartenstein  ren- 
dered efficient  and  friendly  service. 


It  was  the  first  election  at  which  women  voted  throughout  the 
entire  United  States  and  the  one  in  which  Harding  was  elected 
President.  The  19th  Amendment  to  the  Constitution  was  declared 
in  effect  on  August  26,  1920. 

Council  approved  of  Daylight  Saving  Time,  April,  1921. 

Princess  Theater  opened  in  November,  1922,  in  Turn  Hall,  on 
Village  Street. 



Next  came  Joseph  Grist  as  Mayor,  1922-23.  A  highly  respected 
citizen,  it  was  his  task  to  direct  through  the  Council  plans  for  the 
development  of  Fox  Hill,  bequeathed  to  the  city  by  the  will  of  E. 
Stevens  Henry  for  a  park. 

Special  City  Meeting  March  18,  1922— It  was  decided  that 
any  voter  in  the  town  of  Vernon  be  allowed  to  be  heard. 

March  31,  1922 — A  tract  of  land  located  on  Fox  Hill  has  been 
given  as  a  park  and  pleasure  grounds  or  as  sites  for  strictly  public 
buildings  and  grounds  connected  with  the  city  and  with  it  $25,000 
for  improving  the  said  lands. 

April  4,  1922 — On  motion  of  Councilman  Neff,  it  was  voted 
that  the  City  Council  go  on  record  as  being  in  favor  of  Daylight 
Saving  Time. 

At  a  town  meeting  on  Wednesday,  April  5,  1922,  it  was  voted 
not  to  discontinue  the  Interurban  service.  This  was  a  surprise  vote. 
An  accident  just  previous  to  the  meeting  involving  trolley  cars 
seemed  to  provide  a  strong  reason  for  retaining  the  second  line  of 
communication.  So  in  spite  of  much  feeling  that  the  Interurban 
was  not  a  paying  proposition  the  town  voted  to  continue  that  serv- 

May  31,  1922 — Two-thirds  vote  of  all  members  of  the  Common 
Council,  present  and  absent,  decided  that  the  City  of  Rockville 
appropriate  the  sum  of  $2,000  for  playground  equipment  and  phys- 
ical instructors  for  the  year  1922. 

June  12,  1922 — On  motion  of  Councilman  Kuhnly  it  was  voted 
that  the  Common  Council  go  on  record  as  in  favor  of  Sunday  Base- 
ball, and  that  the  matter  be  taken  up  with  Corporation  Counsel  to 
see  if  same  can  be  allowed. 


October  31,  1922— Voted  that  the  City  Clerk  pay  $998.00  to 
the  treasurer  of  the  Armistice  Day  Celebration  Committee. 

November  14,  1922 — It  was  voted  that  the  amounts  appropri- 
ated for  the  Fourth  of  July  celebration  and  the  Armistice  Day  cele- 
bration be  combined  into  a  fund  to  be  used  as  a  permanent  me- 
morial for  World  War  veterans,  if  these  amounts  were  not  desired 
for  the  purposes  for  which  they  were  appropriated. 

December  6,  1922 — The  petition  of  the  manager  of  the  Prin- 
cess Theater  asking  permission  to  exhibit  moving  pictures  on  Sun- 
day evenings  from  7  p.m.  to  10:30  p.m.  was  granted. 

1923 — The  Mayor  commended  the  work  of  the  schools,  the  of- 
fice of  Meat  and  Milk  Inspector,  the  Lighting  Committee  for  chang- 
ing and  improving  the  lighting  system  of  the  city,  the  satisfactory 
police  department  and  the  Fox  Hill  Park  project. 

The  winter  had  a  record  for  continuity  of  snow  storms  which 
began  on  November  28  and  ended  March  31,  in  a  total  of  34 



John  P.  Cameron  returned  to  the  Mayor's  chair  in  1924  and 
remained  until  1928,  thus  serving  the  city  in  this  capacity  for  a 
total  of  eight  years.  Improvements  in  the  Fire  Department,  the 
installation  of  a  siren  in  the  center  of  the  city,  new  traffic  signals 
"so  that  speeding  through  the  center  may  be  reduced  to  a  mini- 
mum," and  a  civic  center  of  which  Rockville  may  well  be  proud 
were  among  the  accomplishments  of  this  administration. 

1924 — With  the  closing  of  our  city  year  of  1924,  we  find  the 
finances  in  an  extremely  fine  condition  with  a  balance  of  cash  on 
hand  of  $16,120.42. 

Fox  Hill  Park  has  been  completed  so  far  as  the  money  Mr. 
Henry  gave  the  city  will  go.  The  committee  has  transformed  this 
hill  into  one  of  the  beauty  spots  of  our  State.  There  is  still  much 
to  be  done,  and  it  is  hoped  that  citizens  will  be  liberal  in  appro- 
priations for  Park  purposes.  This  park  can  be  made  self-support- 
ing by  the  spending  of  but  a  little  more  money. 


Mayor  Cameron  has  faithfully  served  the  city  as — 

Mayor  8  yrs 

City  Treasurer  1914-1915               2    " 

City  Assessor  2    " 

City  Auditor  2    " 

14  years  total 



For  a  term  of  two  years  (1928-1930)  George  Forster  took  up 
again  the  duties  of  the  office  of  mayor.  He  had  served  as  town 
tax  collector  and  city  treasurer,  and  through  these  experiences,  he 
had  adopted  economy  as  his  watchword.  His  advice  was  "all  frills 
and  innovations  requiring  the  use  of  funds  raised  by  taxation  should 
be  frowned  upon."  Closer  scrutiny  and  rigid  pruning  of  the  city's 
budget  must  be  resorted  to  if  their  citizens  are  to  encourage  addi- 
tions to  local  industrial  enterprises  as  well  as  by  new  ventures  lo- 
cating in  this  city. 

During  Mayor  Forster's  administration,  he  was  surrounded  by 
a  City  Council  Staff  composed  of  the  leading  citizens  of  the  com- 
munity, including  David  A.  Sykes,  George  W.  Hill,  James  A.  El- 
liott, David  Horgan,  George  Scheets,  Orren  C.  West,  John  Herzog, 
S.  Tracy  Noble,  Joseph  Prichard,  Alfred  H.  Hobro,  City  Treasurer 
Frank  Farrenkopf  and  City  Clerk  John  N.  Keeney. 

George  Forster,  after  having  served  the  City  of  Rockville  as 
Mayor  for  10  years  was  appointed  Postmaster  of  Rockville,  and 
later  was  elected  for  a  term  of  four  years  as  High  Sheriff  of  Tol- 
land County. 

In  1928  work  started  in  dismantling  the  trolley  line  between 
Rockville  and  Stafford  Springs.  The  road  was  built  at  a  cost  of 
$1,000,000.     It  was  abandoned  because  it  no  longer  paid. 



The  first  important  action  of  the  new  mayor,  Albert  E.  Waite, 
was  to  appoint  a  Tercentennial  Committee,  and  plans  developed 


into  a  celebration  worthy  of  Rockville.  The  mayor  had  served  for 
years  on  the  Common  Council  and  had  been  trained  in  the  city's 
leading  manufacturing  plant,  and  these  avenues  of  work  made  him 
competent  in  his  high  office.  The  contest  for  the  mayoralty  was 
very  close.  He  won  by  47  votes.  Albert  E.  Waite,  a  man  of  ver- 
satile talents,  started  to  work  at  the  age  of  13,  as  an  office  boy  in 
the  New  England  Mill,  and  became  very  proficient  in  bookkeep- 
ing, accounting,  etc.  He  served  the  Hockanum  Mills  faithfully  for 
51  years. 

1930 — The  city  has  received  gifts  of  three  pieces  of  land  from 
the  Hockanum  Mills  Company,  Mr.  F.  W.  Swindells  and  the  Stand- 
ard Oil  Company,  permitting  the  improvement  of  three  dangerous 

Among  the  improvements  to  the  City  has  been  the  removal 
of  the  Lunch  Cart  from  Main  Street,  30  poles  from  various  streets 
and  the  construction  of  a  better  athletic  field  at  Henry  Park. 

1931 — Removal  of  l1/^  miles  of  trolley  tracks,  ties,  overhead 
wires  and  76  poles  from  Windsor  Avenue,  West  Street,  Union, 
Park,  School,  Prospect,  Main,  Grove  and  Hale  Streets  has  not  only 
made  our  streets  safer  and  our  roads  better  but  more  sightly. 

Another  gift  of  land  from  the  Hockanum  Mills  Company  has 
made  possible  a  greatly  improved  entrance  to  the  New  Springville 
Bridge  at  Spring  Street. 

1932 — When  in  May  it  was  found  our  income  from  State  Cor- 
poration Tax  was  $5,959.03  instead  of  $31,000,  the  average  of  seven 
years  previous,  our  various  departmental  committees  met  in  June 
and  cut  the  voted  appropriations  $20,000.  This  and  further  reduc- 
tions in  expenditures  resulted  in  $89,928.06  spent  instead  of  $116,- 
417.50  voted,  leaving  an  unspent  balance  of  $26,489.44. 

The  Police  Department  suffered  a  loss  when  in  September, 
1932,  Captain  Stephen  J.  Tobin  suddenly  died — an  officer  of  fine 
training  and  experience,  as  well  as  a  man  respected  throughout 
our  community.     Officer  Shea  was  appointed  to  succeed  him. 

Lighting  Company  gave  a  real  service  by  increasing  candle 
power  equal  to  approximately  30%  at  no  extra  cost,  as  a  result  of 
conferences  and  agreements  between  our  Lighting  Committee  and 
officers  of  Lighting  Company. 

On  May  1,  1931,  the  sum  of  $15,000  was  voted  at  the  city  meet- 
ing for  the  improved  entrance  to  the  city  at  the  foot  of  Union  Street. 

The  last  trolley  out  on  Sunday  night,  April  26,  ended  that  kind 


of  transportation,  and  the  Hartford  and  Rockville  trolley  service 
is  now  only  a  memory  to  the  people  of  Rockville,  and  the  trolley 
tracks  are  being  removed. 

On  Monday,  April  27,  1931,  the  new  bus  service  between 
Rockville  and  Hartford  went  into  effect.  The  running  time  be- 
tween these  two  cities  from  the  center  of  Rockville  is  55  minutes 
instead  of  more  than  one  hour  as  previously  with  the  trolley  service. 

Until  the  new  Hartford-Rockville  State  Highway  is  completed, 
the  bus  route  will  go  over  the  regular  trolley  route  to  the  center, 
proceed  down  Union  Street  to  West  Street,  over  West  Street  to 
West  Main  Street,  back  up  West  Main  Street  to  Vernon  Avenue 
and  out  Vernon  Avenue  through  Vernon  Center  to  Talcottville 
and  then  along  the  regular  route  to  Hartford. 



The  net  indebtedness  of  Rockville  at  the  close  of  the  fiscal 
year  November  15,  1935,  is  $20,709.95.  During  Mayor  Sheets'  ad- 
ministration it  was  reduced  $28,000. 

When  Scheets  took  office  in  1934  the  City's  indebtedness  was 
$41,368.17,  in  addition  owed  state  $7,500  toward  the  cost  of  im- 
proving the  entrance  to  Union  Street  which  total  bill  was  originally 
$15,000— a  total  indebtedness  of  $48,868.17. 

Steered  a  steady  course. 

In  1920  City's  indebtedness  $139,069.48 

1925  117,115.74 

1930  86,693.46 

1935  20,709.95 

Rockville  and  Vernon  opened  its  three-day  celebration  of  the 

Connecticut  Tercentenary,  Thursday  morning,  September  12,  1935, 

when  the  library  opened  its  exhibit  of  articles  of  historic  interest. 

Streets  were  beautifully  decorated,  business  houses  and  homes  were 

arranged  with  flags  and  bunting. 

Thursday — Historic  Exhibit  at  Public  Library 

Colonial  and  Military  Ball  at  Town  Hall 
Friday — 3:00  p.m.     Tercentenary  Pageant  at  Sykes'  Auditorium 

3:00  Program  at  East  School.  Overflow  from  Pageant 

1:00  p.m.     Flower  Show  opens  at  Fitch  Block 
8:00  p.m.     Public  Exercises  at  Sykes'  Auditorium 
Saturday — 9:30  p.m.     Sports  in  center  of  city 
2:00  p.m.     Mammoth  Parade 
3:30  p.m.     Drum  Corps  Contest  in  Center  of  City 


Three  hundred  years  of  progress  in  the  Constitution  of  the 
State  September  12,  13,  14,  1935.    Founding  of  Hartford— 1636. 

George  C.  Scheets  watched  every  expenditure  and  had  the 
faculty  of  speaking  plainly  on  matters  of  interest  to  the  community. 
He  kept  his  hand  on  the  wheel  during  his  administration.  He 
made  a  thorough  study  of  the  charter.  A  reporter  of  a  local  paper 
listening  to  George  Scheets'  message  at  the  annual  meeting  in  1934 
was  surprised  to  find  that  in  the  delivery  of  that  message  he  glanced 
only  once  or  twice  at  his  prepared  address. 

1934 — A  garage  was  built  on  city  lot  on  West  Street  to  store 
the  Road  Roller,  Sweeper  and  other  city  property.  The  amount 
being  spent  for  rent  for  this  purpose  at  the  present  time  will  pay 
for  the  garage  in  a  few  years. 

1935 — A  large  number  of  men  whose  wages  were  paid  by  the 
Federal  Emergency  Relief  Administration  have  been  employed  in 
grading  South  Street,  Grant  Street,  the  filtration  plant,  and  Henry 
Park.  When  this  Park  project  is  completed,  there  will  be  plenty 
of  room  for  tennis  courts,  and  any  outdoor  sports  that  may  be 

By  using  F.E.R.A.  and  W.P.A.  labor  and  finding  projects  to 
employ  them  on,  we  are  putting  unemployed  men  to  work,  and 
keeping  them  off  the  Town  Relief. 

Mayor  Scheets  became  First  Selectman  of  the  Town  of  Vernon 
in  1938. 



The  most  important  event  in  the  period  of  this  administration 
was  the  erection  and  later  the  dedication  of  the  War  Memorial 
Tower  on  Fox  Hill,  made  possible  by  the  Fund  appropriated  by 
the  City  and  Town,  donations  by  a  few  public-spirited  citizens,  and 
an  allotment  by  the  Government  as  a  WPA  project.  The  city  ap- 
propriated $7,978.52  toward  the  Memorial,  dedicated  on  August  5, 

Monday,  January  6,  1936 — Ex-Mayor  Scheets  administered  the 
oath  of  office  to  Claude  A.  Mills. 

May  19,  1936 — Be  it  ordained  by  the  Court  of  Common  Coun- 


Any  person  who  shall  knowingly  make  a  false  complaint  to 
the  Police  Department  or  any  member  thereof,  and  anv  person  who 
shall  give  any  false  information  with  intent  to  deceive  the  officers 
of  said  department  when  making  any  complaint  shall  be  fined  not 
more  than  25  dollars. 

June  2,  1936 — Voted  that  the  Public  Works  Committee  be  au- 
thorized to  have  a  bine  spruce  tree  moved  from  the  estate  of  Fran- 
cis T.  Maxwell  to  Central  Park  at  a  cost  of  $75. 

September  8,  1936 — Committee  appointed  to  draft  suitable 
resolutions  on  the  death  of  Police  Captain  Richard  Shea,  August  26 
— a  man  of  sound  judgment. 

November  13,  1936 — Voted  that  the  city  sponsor  the  proposed 
War  Memorial  project. 

October  19,  1937 — An  ordinance  concerning  motion  pictures 
and  theatrical  entertainments,  such  as  are  authorized  and  permitted 
on  Sundays  between  the  hours  of  2  p.m.  and  11  p.m.  provided  the 
sale  of  admission  shall  not  exceed  the  regular  afternoon  and  eve- 
ning rates. 

November  2,  1937 — A  delegation  from  the  American  Legion 
spoke  in  favor  of  establishing  skating  rinks  in  the  city. 

December  21,  1937 — The  Mayor  appointed  a  Committee  to 
draw  up  appropriate  resolutions  on  the  death  of  ex-Mavor  A.  E. 

February  8,  1938 — Nineteen  regulations  were  adopted  to  gov- 
ern the  board  of  aldermen. 

May  3,  1938 — Ordinances  regulating  Peddlers,  Itinerant  Ven- 
dors and  Junk  Dealers  were  passed. 

The  year  1938  was  a  year  of  granted  liquor  licenses. 

November  1,  1938— Voted  that  all  lights  around  Central  Park 
be  lighted  all  night  at  an  additional  cost  of  $33  per  year.  Appro- 
priate resolutions  were  passed  on  the  departure  of  Parley  B.  Leon- 
ard, city  official,  first  city  clerk,  eighteen  years  city  treasurer,  and 
in  later  years  a  citizen  ready  to  help. 

November  5,  1938 — Voted  the  sum  of  $385  for  American  Band 

August  8,  1939 — Voted  that  a  committee  of  three  confer  with 
the  Board  of  Selectmen  to  make  arrangements  for  the  care  of  the 
new  Memorial  Tower  on  Fox  Hill. 

August  22,  1939 — Voted  that  the  Ordinance  Committee  be  au- 
thorized to  draft  an  ordinance  regarding  the  playing  of  "bingo." 


the  term  to  be  defined.     The  restrictions  comprised  thirteen  sec- 

January  16,  1940 — Voted  that  Arthur  Satryb  be  given  permis- 
sion to  operate  a  roller  skating  rink  at  6  Vernon  Avenue  on  Sundays 
between  the  hours  of  two  and  five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  and 
between  the  hours  of  eight  and  ten  in  the  evening. 

July  16,  1940 — "His  Excellency  the  President  of  the  United 
States  and  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  have  both  declared 
that  our  defense  forces  and  their  equipment  are  insufficient  and  in- 
adequate to  properly  protect  or  defend  our  nation  in  these  days  of 
swift  and  shocking  development  which  has  forced  every  neutral 
nation  in  this  uneasy  world  to  look  to  its  defense  in  the  light  of  new 

Resolved  that  this  honorable  City  Council  of  the  City  of  Rock- 
ville  in  the  State  of  Connecticut  heartily  commends  and  fully  en- 
dorses the  proposed  new  program  and  defense  policy  of  the  Presi- 
dent, and  sincerely  urges  all  citizens  of  our  city  to  encourage  and 
support  the  President  and  his  military  and  naval  officials  in  their 
efforts  to  make  our  defenses  invulnerable  and  our  security  absolute. 

Further  resolved  that  this  resolution  be  given  the  proper  pub- 
licity so  that  all  unmarried  male  citizens  between  the  ages  of  18 
and  35  may  know  that  the  Regular  Army  of  the  United  States  de- 
sires to  fill  existing  vacancies  to  full  peace  time  strength.  We  en- 
dorse the  National  Defense  Program." 

September  10,  1940 — Mayor  Mills  announced  that  a  public- 
spirited  citizen  had  offered  to  have  the  trees  on  Fox  Hill  Park 
trimmed  so  that  the  tower  could  be  seen  from  the  center  of  the 
city  at  no  cost  to  the  city.    Voted  the  offer  be  accepted  with  thanks. 

November  5,  1940 — An  amendment  to  the  ordinance  concern- 
ing Police  and  Police  Departments:  The  Police  Department  shall 
consist  of  one  Chief  of  Police  (being  the  mayor),  one  Captain, 
one  Sergeant,  and  not  less  than  two  or  more  than  ten  supernumerary 

December  3,  1940 — The  Mayor  was  authorized  to  receive  and 
accept  on  behalf  of  the  city  a  gift  of  $10,000  offered  bv  one  of  its 
citizens  to  be  used  in  the  sound  discretion  of  the  citv  in  the  de- 
velopment of  a  so-called  Recreation  Center.  The  Council  ex- 
pressed itself  as  justly  proud  of  the  donor's  interest  in  the  com- 
munity and  of  his  high  qualities  of  character  as  a  citizen,  his  phil- 
anthropy and  friendship. 


February  11,  1941 — Voted  it  shall  be  unlawful  within  the  city 
limits  without  a  written  permit  issued  and  signed  by  the  Mayor  for 
any  person  to  use  or  discharge  any  sling  shot,  air  rifle,  BB  Gun  or 
similar  device.  Any  person  violating  shall  be  deemed  guilty  of  a 
misdemeanor  and  fined  not  more  than  $25  for  each  offense. 

It  shall  be  unlawful  within  the  limits  of  the  city  of  Rockville 
to  use  mechanical  loud  speakers  or  amplifiers  on  trucks  or  other 
moving  vehicles  for  advertising  or  other  purposes  without  a  specific 
license  therefore  from  the  Chief  of  Police  of  said  city. 

August  12,  1941 — Voted  that  the  sum  of  $400  be  expended  from 
the  contingency  appropriation  before  the  close  of  the  present  fiscal 
year  for  the  rental  of  voting  machines. 

August  26,  1941 — An  ordinance  to  prevent  the  using  of  radio 
receiving  sets  or  other  devices  for  the  producing  or  reproduction 
of  sound  so  as  to  cause  unnecessary  and  harmful  noise.  The  ordi- 
nance consisted  of  three  sections. 

Voted  that  the  Public  Works  Committee  be  authorized  to  at- 
tend to  the  numbering  of  houses  on  the  new  streets  on  which  mail 
delivery  service  has  been  promised. 

The  Mayor  in  his  valedictory  message  of  1941  expressed  regret 
for  the  resignation  from  office  of  Fire  Chief  George  B.  Milne.  His 
continuous  and  loyal  service  for  a  period  of  25  years  is  equaled 
only  by  his  courage  and  devotion  to  duty. 

May,  1942 — Francis  T.  Maxwell  gave  $25,000  as  a  sinking  fund, 
for  the  purpose  of  providing  or  improving  athletic  facilities  at  Fox 
Hill  Park  and  for  planting  trees  and  shrubs. 



Mayor  Raymond  E.  Hunt,  elected  on  December  2,  1941,  lis- 
tened to  the  story  over  the  radio  of  the  dastardly  attack  on  Pearl 
Harbor  five  days  later.  A  lover  of  the  city  that  looms,  reticent  and 
reliable,  he  was  mayor  during  World  War  II.  As  soon  as  he  took 
office  he  announced  that  the  late  Colonel  Francis  T.  Maxwell  had 
bequeathed  the  sum  of  $25,000  to  be  used  for  the  payment  of 
bonds  of  the  city  of  Rockville,  which  enabled  the  city  to  wipe  out 
completely  its  bonded  indebtedness. 

Through  the  years  of  the  war  Mayor  Hunt  spoke  words  of 


cheer  to  the  hundreds  of  boys  who  have  left  the  Town  of  Vernon 
to  serve  the  armed  forces  of  the  country.  Under  his  guidance, 
the  newly  appointed  Recreation  and  Civic  Center  Committee  is 
functioning  diligently. 

Mayor  Hunt  served  the  city  for  26  years,  first  as  city  clerk  and 
for  the  past  six  years  as  Mayor.  The  only  times  he  was  absent 
were  during  his  vacations. 

Taking  office  in  January,  1942,  about  a  month  after  Pearl  Har- 
bor, he  has  been  Rockville's  "War  Mayor."  In  cooperation  with 
town  officials,  his  duty  was  to  see  that  civilian  defense  measures 
were  adopted  and  carried  out  so  that  Rockville  would  be  protected 
in  case  of  an  emergency.  He  was  always  present  as  each  group 
left  for  the  armed  services,  and  on  hand  to  greet  those  men  when 
they  returned.     The  war  postponed  many  projects. 

March  9,  1943 — Moved  that  the  Dedication  of  the  Town  of 
Vernon  Honor  Roll  held  on  Sunday,  March  7,  1943,  be  officially 
recorded  in  the  minutes  of  this  Council  Meeting,  at  which  Dedica- 
tion Exercises  the  Court  of  Common  Council  was  well  represented. 

April  20,  1943 — "Resolved  that  the  City  Treasurer  be  and 
he  is  hereby  authorized  to  deposit  in  the  Savings  Bank  of  Rock- 
ville the  sum  of  $6,000  to  be  known  as  the  Francis  T.  Maxwell 
Fund  for  the  payment  of  bonds  of  the  City  of  Rockville  falling  due 
in  future  years;  and  that  he  be  further  authorized  to  deposit  in  the 
People's  Savings  Bank  of  Rockville  the  sum  of  $6,000  to  be  known 
as  the  Francis  T.  Maxwell  Fund  for  the  payment  of  bonds  of  the 
City  of  Rockville  falling  due  in  future  years;  and  that  the  City 
Treasurer  be  further  authorized  to  purchase  for  the  City  of  Rock- 
ville Government  Bonds  in  the  amount  of  $13,000,  the  same  to  be 
a  part  of  the  Francis  T.  Maxwell  Fund  for  the  payment  of  bonds 
of  the  City  of  Rockville  falling  due  in  future  years.  These  amounts 
constitute  the  bequest  of  $25,000  by  the  late  Francis  T.  Maxwell. 

Resolved  that  the  City  Treasurer  be  and  he  is  hereby  author- 
ized to  deposit  in  the  Savings  Bank  of  Rockville  the  sum  of  $5,000 
to  be  known  as  the  Francis  T.  Maxwell  Fund  for  providing  or  im- 
proving Fox  Hill  Park;  and  that  the  City  Treasurer  be  further  au- 
thorized to  purchase  for  the  City  of  Rockville  government  bonds 
in  the  amount  of  $30,000  the  same  to  be  part  of  the  Francis  T. 
Maxwell  Fund  for  providing  and  improving  Fox  Hill  Park." 

June  29,  1943 — Mayor  Hunt  announced  the  appointment  of  a 
committee  of  five  to  study  and  revise  the  City  Charter. 

Voted  to  grade  the  Recreation  Field. 


August  10,  1943 — Voted  to  permit  the  American  Legion  to 
erect  crosses  in  Central  Park  in  memory  of  those  who  have  lost 
their  lives  in  the  present  War,  the  same  to  remain  for  the  duration. 

August  24,  1943 — Invitation  accepted  to  attend  the  State  Police 
Demonstration  Tuesday  the  31st  at  the  Recreation  and  Civic  Cen- 
ter Grounds. 

February  29,  1944—  The  will  of  John  E.  Fisk,  late  of  the  Town 
of  Vernon,  contains  the  following  bequest: 

Two-tenths  of  his  estate  thereof  to  the  City  of  Rock- 
ville,  Connecticut,  absolutely  and  forever,  but  it  is  my 
wish  that  all  money  and  funds  to  be  received  by  said  city 
hereunder  shall  be  set  apart  as  a  separate  fund  and  in- 
vested and  reinvested  until  the  principal  and  interest  shall 
amount  to  at  least  thirty  thousand  dollars  and  that  there- 
upon said  funds  shall  be  expended  by  the  City  for  the 
erection  within  the  limits  of  said  City  of  a  fountain,  tower 
or  lookout  or  other  structure  of  a  permanent  nature  for 
public  use;  that  the  structure  when  erected  shall  be  known 
as  the  "Lottie  Memorial." 

Probate  notice  accepted  and  placed  on  file. 


In  March,  1900,  John  Everett  Fisk  was  elected  corporation 
counsel,  a  rising  young  lawyer  of  Tolland  County,  being  a  native 
of  Stafford,  where  he  was  born  February  19,  1869.  He  was  edu- 
cated at  the  Stafford  High  School.  He  studied  law  in  the  office 
of  State's  Attorney  Joel  H.  Reed,  of  Stafford  Springs,  and  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  Bar  in  1891.  He  immediately  opened  an  office  in  the 
Henry  Building. 

Mr.  Fisk  was  judge  for  37  years.  He  was  the  first  in  the  Henry 
Building  to  have  a  telephone,  and  as  there  were  only  32  other 
phones  in  Rockville  at  that  time,  his  number  was  33,  which  he  re- 
tained for  many  years.  He  opened  his  office  in  September,  1891; 
he  was  City  Attorney  1900  to  1934,  and  was  appointed  Judge  of 
City  Court  in  1902.  On  his  retirement  after  37  years  of  service,  he 
was  presented  with  an  inscribed  bronze  plaque  by  court  officials. 

April  11,  1944 — Voted  $345.60  for  erection  of  fence  around 
three  sides  of  the  Recreation  Field  approximately  945  feet.  Con- 
tract awarded  Emil  T.  Hallcher. 


June  6,  1944 — At  a  point  in  the  meeting  the  members  of  the 
Council  with  bowed  heads  offered  a  silent  prayer  for  the  success 
of  the  United  Nations  in  the  European  West  Coast  Invasion  which 
started  Tuesday,  June  6,  1944. 

On  Julv  6,  1944,  Rockville  along  with  many  other  communities 
suffered  a  heavy  loss  in  the  fire  that  destroved  the  tents  of  the 
Ringling  Brothers,  Barnum  and  Bailey  Circus  in  Hartford,  and  in 
which  162  persons  lost  their  lives.  Rockville  lost  five  people  in  this 
disaster,  Miss  Marjorie  Metcalf,  Mrs.  Dorothv  Kuhnly  and  daughter 
Georgianna,  Mrs.  Irene  North  and  daughter  Irene. 

January  16,  1945 — Voted  that  the  Committee  appointed  by 
the  Mayor  to  draft  suitable  resolutions  to  be  presented  to  the  fam- 
ily and  relatives  of  those  who  sacrificed  their  lives  in  World  War  II 
be  authorized  to  purchase  100  copies  of  said  resolutions. 

Special  Meeting  on  Tuesday,  April  15,  1945: 

"Whereas  the  Almighty  Ruler  of  the  Universe  has 
taken  from  our-  ranks  almost  in  the  very  hour  of  victory  our 
great  and  gallant  President  and  Commander-in-Chief  and 

Whereas  our  Nation  and  the  United  Nations  have 
suffered  an  irreparable  and  heart-rending  loss  by  his  un- 
timely death,  and  whereas  in  that  dark  hour  when  evil 
forces  threatened  to  destroy  our  country,  his  indomitable 
courage  and  fearless  leadership  inspired  us  to  fight  with 
greater  hope  and  courage,  and 

Whereas  his  sudden,  tragic  death  will  be  felt  through- 
out the  world  by  hundreds  of  millions  of  people  to  whom 
he  symbolized  freedom,  democracy,  humane  tolerance  and 
world  peace 

Therefore  be  it  resolved  that  this  Court  of  Common 
Council,  in  behalf  of  the  City  of  Rockville  does  hereby 
formally  give  expression  to  its  feeling  for  the  irreparable 
loss  the  country  and  the  world  suffers  in  the  death  of  our 
great  President,  Franklin  Delano  Roosevelt,  that  a  minute 
of  this  Resolution  be  spread  upon  the  Records  of  the  Coun- 
cil and  that  a  copy  be  transmitted  to  his  family,  by  the 
City  Clerk,  suitably  signed  and  sealed  as  a  feeble  though 
sincere  expression  of  our  profound  sorrow  and  deep  sym- 
pathy in  the  hour  of  their  and  our  bereavement." 


May  1,  1945 — Members  of  the  City  Council  and  others  pres- 
ent stood  in  silent  prayer  and  thanksgiving  for  the  Allied  Victory 
in  Europe  and  for  the  success  of  the  Allied  Armies  in  the  War  in 
the  Pacific  against  Japan. 

Mayor  Hunt  read  this  Proclamation: 

"Whereas  the  Allied  Armies  after  five  long  years  of  cease- 
less fighting  to  obtain  a  world  peace  have  won  from  Germany 
a  final  and  unconditional  surrender,  and 

Whereas  Harry  S.  Truman,  President  of  the  United  States 
of  America  has  designated  Sunday,  May  13,  1945,  to  be  a  day 
of  prayer  and  thanksgiving 

Now,  therefore,  I,  Raymond  E.  Hunt,  mayor  of  the  City 
of  Rockville,  do  call  upon  the  citizens  of  our  city,  whatever  their 
faith  to  unite  on  this  day  in  offering  thanks  to  God  for  the 
victory  we  have  won,  and  to  pray  for  the  continued  success  of 
of  the  United  States  and  our  Allies  to  bring  to  a  speedy  and 
victorious  conclusion  the  fight  against  the  remaining  enemy  in 
the  Pacific." 

May  8,  1945 — The  American  Legion  requested  the  donation 
of  the  Observation  Post  "hut"  now  standing  in  Henry  Park,  the 
Post  to  remove  the  same  at  its  own  cost  and  expense,  without  lia- 
bility of  any  kind  to  the  city.    Request  granted. 

July  17,  1945 — Request  granted  to  the  West  End  for  per- 
mission to  erect  an  Honor  Roll  between  Union  Street  and  Wind- 
sor Avenue. 

October  28,  1946 — "Welcome  Home"  Day  Committee  invited 
all  officials  of  the  City  of  Rockville  to  witness  the  "Welcome  Home" 
Day  Parade. 

Mayor  Hunt  in  his  annual  report  for  the  year  ending  Novem- 
ber 15,  1947,  mentioned  the  excellent  financial  condition,  the  sub- 
jects taken  up  for  consideration  during  the  year — Zoning,  Building 
Code,  and  the  Revision  of  the  City  Charter,  and  concluded — "In 
closing  my  official  term  as  Mayor,  and  after  26  years  in  connection 
with  our  Common  Council,  20  years  as  the  clerk,  I  desire  to  extend 
my  sincere  thanks." 

Mayor  Hunt  informed  the  Council  that  the  body  of  Robert 
Underwood,  the  first  World  War  II  casualty  from  Rockville,  will 
arrive  in  the  city  on  Monday,  November  17.  The  mayor  had  or- 
dered the  flag  on  the  municipal  flagpole  to  be  flown  half-mast  on 
Monday  and  Tuesday  until  2  o'clock,  the  hour  of  the  funeral. 

December  16,  1947 — Salaries  of  members  of  the  Citv  Police 
Department  for  each  day's  service:     Captain  $8.95;  Sergeant  $8.30; 


Patrolman  $8.00;  Supernumerary  $7.10;  no  allowance  for  extra  time 
during  the  same  day  of  24  hours. 

Vacations:  All  members  of  the  Police  Department  who  have 
served  not  less  than  five  years  in  the  department  shall  be  granted 
and  shall  receive  a  vacation  not  to  exceed  14  days  during  any 
fiscal  year  and  said  vacation  shall  be  granted  with  pay  to  all  mem- 
bers of  the  department  who  have  served  in  said  department. 



On  Monday,  January  5,  1948,  the  oath  of  office  was  admin- 
istered to  the  mayor-elect  Frederick  S.  Berger  by  Raymond  Hunt, 
after  Mr.  Berger  had  resigned  as  alderman  of  the  third  ward. 

January  27,  1948 — Decided  to  purchase  a  snow  loader  at  a 
sum  not  to  exceed  $8,000. 

Tuesday,  March  9,  1948 — Alderman  Harry  Ertel  stated  that 
the  condition  of  the  fence  around  the  Recreation  Field  is  a  disgrace 
to  the  city,  and  he  wondered  who  was  responsible  for  its  care.  It 
had  been  deeded  to  the  city,  and  the  High  School  boys  were  ready 
to  repair  it.  The  matter  was  referred  to  the  Public  Works  Com- 

Tuesday,  June  1,  1948 — Repair  work  on  Tower  on  Fox  Hill 
has  been  completed,  and  after  three  weeks  no  windows  have  been 
broken.  The  mayor  complimented  the  Public  Works  Commission. 
Alderman  Ertel  reported  that  the  Tower  may  be  opened  two  days  a 
week  with  police  protection. 

Judge  Charles  Underwood,  chairman  of  the  Safety  Commit- 
tee, presented  to  Mayor  Berger  the  certificate  from  Governor  Shan- 
non awarded  to  the  committees  in  Connecticut,  includine;  Rockville, 
as  a  result  of  not  having  had  a  traffic  fatality  in  1947.  It  was  sug- 
gested that  the  certificate  be  hung  in  Police  Court  Room  and  shown 
to  violators  of  the  Motor  Vehicle  Laws. 

July  29,  1948 — Reported  that  Al  Foster  had  applied  two  coats 
of  paint  to  the  Flagpole  at  the  Fox  Hill  Tower  at  no  charge  to  the 
City,  and  was  to  be  commended  for  his  generosity. 

August  24,  1948 — A  five-member  Economy  Committee  was  ap- 
pointed to  study  the  local  tax  structure  and  make  recommendations 
for  greater  efficiency  and  a  more  stable  tax  rate.     Appointed  were: 


John  McCormick,  Wm.  Dunlap,  Robert  Murphy,  Kenneth  Smith, 
Winfred  Kloter. 

November  4,  1948 — Sample  copies  of  the  revised  charter  were 
distributed  at  the  meeting,  and  the  Finance  Committee  was  em- 
powered to  get  bids  for  printing. 

December  7,  1948 — Every  person  who  shall  place  or  deposit 
or  cause  to  be  placed  or  deposited  upon  any  street,  sidewalk,  gut- 
ter, or  park  in  the  city  of  Rockville  any  store  sweepings,  loose 
papers,  dirt,  ashes,  rubbish,  snow,  ice  or  refuse  of  any  kind  shall 
be  fined  in  a  sum  not  exceeding  fifty  dollars.  Effective  Decem- 
ber 18,  1948. 

Voted  to  install  bleacher  seats  for  Henry  Park,  providing  960 
seats,  at  a  cost  of  $3,552.  Also  voted  to  spend  $1,250  for  a  new 
baseball  diamond  at  Henry  Park,  the  money  for  both  of  these  proj- 
ects to  come  from  the  Maxwell  Fund. 

January  18,  1949 — Alderman  Ertel  reported  more  vandalism 
at  the  Fox  Hill  Tower  and  told  that  the  Public  Works  Commission 
intends  to  replace  the  windows  with  steel  plates  which  will  not  mar 
the  beauty  of  the  tower. 

March  8,  1949 — Alderman  Bouchard  reported  that  the  Fire 
Committee  held  a  meeting  in  regard  to  selling  the  city's  old  steam 
fire  engine  as  there  is  no  longer  any  use  for  it.  There  has  been  an 
offer  of  $75  for  it,  but  the  Fire  Committee  wishes  to  offer  it  to  the 
people  of  Rockville  before  selling  it  to  an  outsider. 

March  15,  1949 — The  next  meeting — It  was  voted  that  the  Old 
Steam  Engine  be  kept  by  the  Fire  Committee  until  a  veterans'  fire 
association,  which  is  being  formed,  receives  its  charter.  If  it  does 
not  receive  a  charter,  the  engine  would  be  given  to  the  Historical 

August  2,  1949 — Alderman  Flaherty  called  attention  to  the 
noise  and  disturbances  which  motorcycles  have  been  making  in  the 
city  and  wished  to  mention  it  at  a  Council  meeting  so  that  publicity 
could  be  given  to  the  matter  and  cause  motorcyclists  to  be  more 

August  30,  1949 — Alderman  Bouchard  reported  that  the  Vet- 
eran Firemen's  Association  has  received  its  charter  and  by-laws 
and  is  now  ready  to  take  over  the  ownership  and  care  of  the  Old 
Steamer  Fire  Engine.  The  mayor  asked  the  Corporation  Counsel 
to  draw  up  a  resolution  providing  for  the  transfer  of  the  engine 
from  the  city  to  the  Firemen's  Organization. 


December  7,  1949 — Resolved  that  the  City  of  Rockville  shall 
lease  to  the  State  of  Connecticut,  the  "Peerless  Silk  Mill  Building," 
so-called,  for  a  period  of  two  years  for  the  yearly  rental  of  $1800, 
for  a  State  Armory. 

April  24,  1950 — Alderman  Ertel  asked  to  have  read  to  the 
Council  a  paper  dealing  with  the  "Requirements  for  Installation 
of  all  Radio  or  Television  Antennas."  It  was  voted  that  Rockville 
adopt  the  suggested  requirements. 

Alderman  Rohan  asked  the  Council  to  go  on  record  to  sup- 
port the  Recruiting  Drive  of  the  local  Red  Cross  Blood  Bank. 
Rockville's  quota  is  to  be  600  pints  of  blood  for  the  year.  The  date 
for  the  first  visit  of  the  Bloodmobile  will  be  announced  later. 

September  10,  1951 — Alderman  Rohan  recommended  that  the 
City  of  Rockville  approve  Social  Security  coverage  for  its  full-time 
employees  in  the  Public  Works,  Police,  and  Health  Departments. 

September  24,  1951 — Alderman  Kernan  reported  that  the  Po- 
lice Department,  for  safety  measures,  is  sending  a  traffic  officer  to 
Maple  Street  School  where  100  extra  pupils  are  enrolled  until  com- 
pletion of  the  new  Vernon  School. 

October  8,  1951 — Alderman  Kernan  stated  that  the  Health 
Committee  has  been  considering  a  fluoridation  program  for  Rock- 
ville to  prevent  tooth  decay.  Dr.  Gessay  (dentist)  was  invited  to 
speak  at  the  meeting. 

November  14,  1951 — Voted  that  the  city  treasurer  be  empow- 
ered to  draw  a  check  for  $2,000  to  Rockville  Public  Health  Nurs- 
ing Association. 

January  31,  1952 — The  Council  observed  a  moment  of  silent 
tribute  in  memory  of  a  deceased  city  official,  Saul  L.  Peizer. 

The  Building  Inspector's  report  was  presented  by  Roland 
Usher  at  regular  intervals. 

March  5,  1952 — Alderman  Ertel  reported  that  because  of  over- 
head electric  and  telephone  wires  and  low  hanging  tree  limbs  on 
the  south  side  of  Union  Street,  the  Public  Works  Department  could 
not  use  the  snow  loader  to  remove  snow. 

April  2,  1952 — Resignation  of  Fire  Chief  William  Flaherty  was 
accepted  with  regret.  The  Mayor  complimented  Flaherty  on  his 
38  years  of  service  to  the  Community.  Edward  Friedrich  was 
unanimously  elected  as  his  successor. 

Hearing,  April  30,  1952— Voted  that  the  Public  Works  Com- 


mittee  be  named  as  the  Committee  to  lay  out  a  highway  extend- 
ing Fox  Street  to  meet  a  proposed  street  known  as  Fox  Hill  Drive 
in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  the  city  charter. 

May  14,  1952 — Voted  that  the  Ordinance  Committee  be  em- 
powered to  draw  up  ordinance  to  change  name  of  Fox  Street  to 
Fox  Hill  Drive. 


May  30,  1949 


At  the  official  opening  of  the  new  baseball  diamond  at  Henry 
Park  Sunday  afternoon,  when  Rockville  Moriarty's  team  played  the 
Southington  Sotons,  Mayor  Frederick  S.  Berger,  who  threw  the 
first  ball,  paid  tribute  to  all  those  who  have  made  the  park,  with 
its  sports  field,  possible. 

Mayor  Berger  spoke  as  follows:  "This  being  Memorial  Day 
week-end,  I  believe  that  this  is  an  appropriate  time  to  pay  honor 
to  the  two  men  who,  through  their  generosity,  have  made  this 
beautiful  park  possible,  the  Honorable  E.  Stevens  Henry  and  Colo- 
nel Francis  T.  Maxwell.  Let  us  pay  tribute  to  their  memory  with 
a  moment  of  silence." 

The  new  bleachers  and  backstop  and  also  a  public  address 
system,  were  in  use  Sunday.  Work  on  the  diamond  was  started 
three  years  ago. 

May  28,  1952 — Police  Committee  had  met  with  a  Committee 
from  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  in  regard  to  parking  meters  and 
as  a  result  it  was  decided  that  something  had  to  be  done  to  regu- 
late parking  space  in  the  shopping  area.  Alderman  Kernan  moved 
that  the  Council  authorize  the  Police  Committee  to  provide  for 
the  installation  of  parking  meters  in  the  city  of  Rockville. 

Mayor  Berger  stated  that  parking  meters  would  be  financed 
by  the  income  from  the  meters.  Carried — 8  in  favor,  4  not  in 

An  appropriation  of  $3,000  to  be  used  for  providing  more  ade- 
quate court  room  facilities,  renovation  of  the  Police  Headquarters 
and  Council  rooms. 

June  25,  1952 — The  Mayor  called  attention  to  the  newly  framed 
picture  of  the  first  mayor  of  Rockville,  Samuel  Fitch.    The  cost  of 



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the   framing  was  paid  for  by  the   Mayor's   granddaughter,    Miss 
Marietta  Fitch. 

A  communication  from  trustees  of  the  William  Horowitz  Foun- 
dation was  read.  This  was  in  regard  to  the  fund  started  by  Mr. 
Horowitz  for  a  swimming  pool,  wading  pool  and  field  house  to  be 
presented  to  the  City  of  Rockville.  Since  Mr.  Horowitz's  untimely 
death,  the  trustees  desire  to  go  ahead  with  this  project,  to  be  known 
as  the  Wm.  Horowitz  Memorial  Swimming  Pool.  Upon  comple- 
tion of  the  project  it  will  be  presented  to  the  City  of  Rockville, 
which  will  be  responsible  for  its  care  and  maintenance. 

Voted  that  the  William  Horowitz  Foundation  be  allowed  to 
go  ahead  and  start  construction  of  swimming  pool  in  Henry  Park 
in  the  area  between  Memorial  Tower  and  the  Tennis  Courts. 

Alderman  Ertel  reported  that  a  Merry-Go-Round  had  been 
installed  in  Henry  Park  for  children  under  twelve  years  of  age. 
He  also  called  attention  of  the  public  to  golf  playing  in  Henry  and 
Talcott  Parks  and  asked  for  an  ordinance  to  prohibit  this  practice 
in  the  city  parks. 

December  17,  1952 — Alderman  Kernan  reported  that  in  a  check 
of  parking  meters  Sunday,  December  14,  $496.01  was  collected. 

Voted  to  make  out  a  check  for  $25.00  to  the  Town  of  Vernon 
to  cover  any  damage  that  might  occur  at  the  East  School  during 
Junior  basketball  games  and  practice. 

Mayor  announced  committee  to  consider  the  advisability  of 
establishing  a  metropolitan  district:  Alderman  Ertel,  Alderman 
Kernan,  Alderman  Peters,  Alderman  Doherty,  Raymond  Hunt,  Her- 
man Olson,  Claude  Bilson,  and  John  Dailey. 

April  22,  1953 — Fire  Chief  Edward  Friedrich  submitted  resig- 
nation by  letter.  Mayor  spoke  of  his  service  to  community,  skill 
and  ability.  He  said  it  was  a  shame  that  the  city  had  to  lose 
such  a  fine  man  because  of  the  carelessness  of  some  people  who 
start  grass  fires  and  then  wait  for  the  fire  department  to  come  and 
put  them  out.  One  day  Mr.  Friedrich  had  to  leave  his  business 
five  times  for  such  fires. 

Special  April  27,  1953 — The  Mayor  announced  that  the  fund 
for  the  swimming  pool  was  short  by  about  $16,000.  He  said  that 
the  City  of  Rockville  had  a  special  fund  that  could  be  used  for  this 
purpose  called  the  Capital  and  Non-Recurring  Expenditure  Fund 
for  Recreational  Purposes.  This  fund  was  started  several  years  ago 
and  is  made  up  of  rentals  from  the  old  Peerless  Mill.    The  Mayor 



said  he  had  talked  with  the  Corporation  Counsel,  and  he  said  the 
fund  was  perfectly  all  right  to  use  toward  the  swimimng  pool. 
The  city  treasurer  was  instructed  to  draw  $10,000. 



The  story  of  the  Fire  Department  may  be  traced  back  to  the 
purchase  by  the  Town  of  Vernon  in  1855  of  the  Fire  King,  a  Smith 
hand  engine,  built  in  New  York.  This  took  the  place  of  a  Button 
engine  that  had  been  in  service  in  the  town  for  a  dozen  years  be- 
fore. For  over  twenty  years,  the  old  Fire  King,  sold  in  1903  for 
$100,  was  the  mainstay  of  the  Volunteer  firemen  of  Rockville. 
Those  were  the  days  when  fire  was  the  great  enemy,  and  fire 
laddies  manned  the  brightly  painted  hand-pumps  and  raced 
through  the  streets  with  hose  carts  and  ladders.  It  was  an  exciting 

In  the  year  1855  the  first  Company  was  organized,  and  a 
charter  of  incorporation  granted  by  the  State  of  Connecticut,  with 
the  following  charter  members:  Joseph  Selden,  James  Toole,  Wm. 
C.  Avery,  G.  A.  Groves,  W.  H.  Wyckoff,  A.  A.  Presbrey,  H.  Har- 
wood,  H.  Newell,  A.  P.  Hammond,  John  Dawson,  Daniel  Web- 
ster, Andrew  Metcalf,  Revilo  Winchell,  Chauncey  Winchell,  Chas. 
Metcalf,  Alfred  Hale,  Henry  Purnell,  E.  S.  Henry,  I.  Whateley, 
Warren  Branson,  Henry  Selden,  Nathaniel  Grant,  R.  Barber,  James 
Farrell,  Rufus  Chamberlain,  A.  McKinney,  Royal  Cobb,  Charlie 
Harris,  Smith  Root,  Jos.  Thompson,  Ed.  Kellogg,  John  W.  Thayer, 
Alonzo  Bailey,  and  such  other  persons  residing  in  the  village  of 
Rockville,  as  shall  associate  with  them  by  voluntary  enlistment,  not 
to  exceed  sixty  in  number,  known  as  the  Hockanum  Fire  Engine 
and  Hose  Company.  The  first  meeting  was  held  in  a  small  shanty 
on  the  corner  of  Orchard  and  Main  Streets,  near  where  the  Spring- 
ville  mill  stands,  on  December  26,  1855,  with  Joseph  Selden  as 
chairman  and  E.  S.  Henry  as  clerk. 

On  August  22,  1856,  a  committee  consisting  of  Jos.  Selden. 
W.  H.  Campbell,  A.  P.  Hammond,  W.  A.  Wyckoff,  C.  Winchell, 
and  Henry  Selden  was  appointed  to  solicit  subscriptions  for  the 
purpose  of  erecting  an  engine  house.  The  committee  met  with  a 
generous  response,  and  the  house  was  erected  and  dedicated  on 
Friday,  December  18,  1857,  on  land  which  was  given  for  the  pur- 
pose. The  members  of  the  Company  built  the  foundation  from 
stones  taken  from  the  ruins  of  the  Grant  Mill  fire,  and  judging 
from  the  minutes  of  the  opening  meeting,  a  right  royal  time  was 
had,  with  Fire  King  No.  2  as  guest. 

In  1880  legislation  was  obtained  granting  the  Town  of  Vernon 



the  right  to  establish  a  fire  district  and  organize  and  maintain  a 
paid  Fire  Department.  The  granting  of  such  a  privilege  bv  the 
Connecticut  General  Assembly  was  an  innovation,  for  no  town  had 
ever  been  given  such  authority  at  that  time.  Under  this  act,  the 
town  appointed  a  committee  consisting  of  Crosslev  Fitton,  George 
Svkes,  E.  Stevens  Henrv,  to  bin"  an  engine.  As  a  result  on  Febru- 
ary, 1882,  a  Silsbv  steamer,  costing  -$3,500,  was  purchased. 

In  August.  1882,  a  committee  was  appointed  to  receive  sub- 
scriptions for  the  purchase  of  furniture,  and  the  liberal  response 
of  citizens  created  a  fund  of  $177  for  this  purpose. 

The  Companv  adopted  a  uniform  in  October,  1882,  selecting 
a  regulation  cap  and  belt  and  a  white  shirt  with  red  trimmings. 
Each  member  had  the  privilege  of  paving  for  his  own  uniform. 
Prompted  bv  enthusiasm  and  pride  in  their  work,  filled  with  fire- 
fighting  ardor — the  firemen  of  Rockville  had  a  record  of  faithful 
and  effective  work.  The  pav  was  nominal — 25  dollars  a  year  paid 
by  the  city  after  1890. 

In  1898  the  Companv  purchased  new  uniforms,  the  old  ones 
having  been  in  service  about  fifteen  years. 

New  equipment  was  purchased  through  the  years,  and  citizens 
were  deeply  interested  in  the  development  of  the  Fire  Depart- 

The  trial  of  the  new  steamer  Fitton  on  March  4,  1882,  was 
witnessed  bv  a  large  concourse  of  people  gathered  on  the  corners 
of  streets  and  on  the  upper  and  middle  terraces.  In  1888  the 
Silsbv  Steam  Fire  Engine  of  the  same  size  and  capacity  as  the 
Steam  Fitton,  also  a  four-wheeled  hose  carriage  with  a  capacity 
of  1000  feet  of  hose,  attracted  much  attention. 

The  year  1888  was  memorable  for  its  local  fires:  First  alarm  on 
the  evening  of  February  13 — E.  W.  Tracy's  smoke  house  on  Main 
Street;  the  P.  R.  Moore  building  on  Park  Street  (totally  destroyed); 
Carroll  &  McDonnell;  The  Second  Congregational  Church;  Fitch's 
Skating  Rink:  Snow  &  Deobler's;  M.  A.  Woodruff;  Frank  Grant; 
D.  E.  Barnard;  F.  W.  Wilbur's  blacksmith;  Harry  L.  Adams  cotton 
mill;  Doane's  big  fire;  Wm.  Pfunder's. 

On  April  3,  1888,  the  Second  Congregational  Church  and  the 
Fitch  Block  were  totally  destroyed  by  fire.  The  fire  was  discov- 
ered almost  simultaneously  by  several  individuals,  including  Watch- 
man Griswold  of  the  Rock  Mill,  who  struck  the  mill  bell,  the  time 
being  12:25  exactly.  The  fire  must  have  been  in  progress  some 
time  as  nearly  the  whole  interior  of  the  audience  room  seemed  to 


be  on  fire.  Several  windows  burst  out  with  flames  so  hot  and 
fierce  that  it  was  impossible  to  get  a  hydrant  stream  on  the  build- 
ing. It  was  very  soon  evident  that  the  building  could  not  be  saved. 
The  flames  made  quick  work  of  the  church,  the  walls  being  all 
down  in  three  quarters  of  an  hour.  The  steeple  fell  just  before 
one  o'clock,  toppling  over  into  Union  Street. 

On  the  early  morning  of  July  26,  1895,  the  alarm  called  the 
Fire  Department  to  the  long  wooden  block  of  Mr.  Orcutt,  on  Main 
Street.  It  was  a  hot  fire  certainly,  with  a  stiff  breeze  blowing,  so 
much  so  that  cinders  were  picked  up  as  far  north  as  the  Longview 
Schoolhouse  and  Ellington  Marsh,  and  areas  far  bevond  were  at 
one  time  clouded  with  smoke.  The  total  loss  of  the  fire  was  up- 
wards of  865,000.  It  was  one  of  the  most  disastrous  fires  for  sev- 
eral vears,  many  merchants  and  business  men  and  several  families 
suffering.     Seven  stores  were  destroyed. 

Another  fiery  reminiscence  is  the  Market  Street  fire  of  Febru- 
ary 28,  1897,  early  Sunday  morning.  It  destroved  the  other  line 
of  stores  of  Mr.  Orcutt,  nine  in  all.  This,  too,  was  a  wooden  struc- 
ture, much  older  than  the  Main  Street  block.  One  of  the  build- 
ings, which  formed  a  part  of  the  block,  was  the  old  Sears  build- 
ing, which  was  somewhat  historical,  inasmuch  as  the  upper  storv 
was  fitted  as  the  first  public  hall  in  Rockville,  and  aside  from  its 
use  for  dances,  small  theatrical  shows,  etc.,  it  had  been  the  earlv 
home  of  various  religious  and  other  societies.  The  structure  was 
one  of  those  which  it  is  impossible  to  save,  when  flames  are  once 
attached  to  it.  It  was  of  light  wood,  rendered  inflammable  bv  age 
and  bv  oils  and  other  inflammable  substances,  besides  standing; 
on  stilts,  with  a  tall  open  basement,  which  gave  ample  opportunitv 
for  the  wind  to  fan  the  flames.  Just  at  the  south,  and  onlv  a  few 
feet  distant,  stood  the  American  House,  which  fortunatelv  escaped 
serious  injurv.  At  the  west  were  stables  and  barns  so  near  that  it 
needed  only  a  spark  to  cause  their  destruction,  and  at  the  north 
stood  the  Exchange  Block,  which,  though  of  brick,  contained  not 
a  single  iron  shutter  for  its  windows,  and  on  the  east,  just  across 
the  narrow  street,  stood  several  wooden  structures,  so  near,  that  it 
needed  not  a  blaze,  but  simply  the  heat  to  cause  them  to  go  up  in 
flames,  and  yet  with  all  of  these  inflammable  smroundings.  this 
fiery  furnace  was  kept  within  its  bounds,  and  the  Rockville  Fire 
Department  added  other  laurels  to  those  which  thev  had  alreadv 

No.  2  Engine  House  located  on  Prospect  Streret,  the  house  of 
the  Fitton  Fire  Companv,  was  destroved  bv  fire. 


Saturday.  November  9,  1912,  was  a  red-letter  day  for  Rock- 
viUe  firemen — the  dedication  of  the  new  Fitton  Engine  House.  A 
number  of  visiting  companies  were  present  to  participate,  notably 
the  Pawtuxet  firemen  with  the  old  hand  engine  Fire  King.  There 
was  a  parade,  with  A.  L.  Martin  as  marshal  and  A.  M.  Burke  as 

The  building  cost  -$10,000,  was  62  x  32  feet,  brick  with  blue 
stone  trimmings  and  two  stories  in  height.  The  city  made  a  spe- 
cial appropriation  for  the  new  equipment.  The  new  Fitton  Fire 
Engine  House  was  erected  on  an  8  mill  tax,  which  included  the 
purchase  of  a  new  steam  fire  engine  and  other  fire-fighting  equip- 

The  burning  of  the  Fishline  Factory  on  May  10,  1916,  was  one 
of  the  most  spectacular  fires  in  years.  The  loss  was  estimated  at 
$75,000.  The  fire  wiped  out  the  entire  plant,  including  all  the 
stock  and  machinery. 

The  Rockville  Journal  Fire  on  March  20,  1941,  was  a  terrible 

The  Princess  Hall  fire  in  1949  was  destructive,  and  citizens 
should  be  proud  of  the  Fire  Department  at  all  these  fires. 

Through  the  years  the  Fire  Department  has  been  developed 
into  four  companies — Snipsic  Hook  and  Ladder  Co.,  No.  1;  the 
Fitton  Engine  Co.,  No.  2;  The  Samuel  Fitch  Hose  Co.,  No.  3;  and 
the  Hockanum  Hose  Company. 

Roger  J.  Murphy,  an  enthusiastic  member  of  the  Fire  Depart- 
ment, tells  the  story  of  the  hose  racing  which  attracted  the  atten- 
tion of  crowds  of  people  in  1837-1892.    This  is  his  comment: 

"We  organized  the  team  in  1887.  Our  first  winning  was  a  local 
race  of  250  yards,  laying  200  feet  of  hose  within  the  distance, 
break  and  putting  on  the  pipe.  The  time  was  35y2  seconds. 
The  next  race  we  won  carried  the  state  championship  with  it. 
It  was  held  at  Savin  Rock  on  July  20,  1887.  The  run  was  440 
yards,  laying  300  feet  of  hose  within  the  distance,  break  and 
putting  on  the  pipe  ready  for  water.  The  carriage  weighed 
1,250  pounds,  loaded,  and  we  did  it  in  the  remarkable  time  of 
one  minute,  9%  seconds. 

"The  next  place  we  showed  our  ability  as  champions  was  at 
Danny  Dunns  town,  Willimantic,  October  8,  1888.  The  run  was 
250  yards,  laying  200  feet  of  hose,  break  and  put  on  pipe.  We 
won  with  seconds  to  spare  in  38%  seconds. 

"There  was  another  state  meet  at  the  State  Fair  at  Meriden  on 
September  16,  1891.     The  run  was  300  yards  laying  300  feet  of 



hose  within  the  break  and  putting  on  pipe.  Wallingford  won  in 
46%  seconds.     Fitton  was  second  in  47%  seconds. 

"In  the  same  year  there  was  another  big  race  at  Bristol.  The 
distance  was  the  same  as  in  the  race  at  Meriden  and  the  Fittons 
regained  their  lost  laurels.  The  Fittons  won  this  and  estab- 
lished a  state  record  of  43  seconds,  which  record  still  stands." 

"Our  next  venture  was  at  the  State  Fair  at  Meriden  on  Sep- 
tember 30,  1892,  in  which  we  again  showed  form  as  champions. 
The  distince  was  300  yards,  laying  300  feet  of  hose,  break  and 
put  on  pipe.  We  won  easily  in  46%  seconds,  beating  out  our 
rivals,   the  Wallingfords. 


A  partial  list  of  the  names  of  men  who  served  in  the  Rockville 
Fire  Department  when  the  Old  Hand  Engines  were  used. 


Jacob  Reiden 
Patrick  Carey 
John  Wagner 
Dennis  Delaney 
Joseph  Forster 
Thomas  Brennan 
R.  H.  Dawson 
John  Cratty 
Charles  Wood 
J.  W.  Bailey 
Loren  Griswold 
John  Silcox 
A.  C.  Crosby 
Loren  A.  Chapin 
Earl  Symonds 
John  Pinder 
L.  A.  Corbin 
Thomas  Wendhiser 
James  W.  Burton 
Frank  Grant 
Richard  Lee 
James  Wicks 
John  Dunn 
Joseph  Wicks 
William  Lahey 
James  McCarthy 
Dwight  Buckminster 
H.  G.  Holt 
Nelson  Buckminster 
James  Morrison 
M.  W.  Pember 
Thomas  Moore 

Joshua  Wood 
George   Harris 
James  Fitzgerald 
B.  L.  Burr 
George  Mesler 
Patrick  Lynch 
Patrick  McGuane 
Thomas  Cratty 
Martin  Flood 
John  G.  Leach 
Willard  Griswold 
W.  R.  Mills 
Wells  Symonds 
Samuel  Willis 
Fred  Doebler 
Christian  Cook 
John  Corbin 
Henry  Buckminster 
O.  C.  West 
Alfred  Harding 
George  Lee 
Mark  Hook 
Lawrence  Cavanaugh 
John  Cullen 
Almon  Harris 
Thomas   Flood 
Alfred  Abbey 
Ashley  Bartlett 
H.  T.  Bolles 
Nathan  H.  Thompson 
Fred  Gainor 
S.  L.  Hickoth 

Lewis  Hunt 
C.  E.  Harris 
John  T.   Carroll 
Nicholas  Wendhiser 
Lorenzo  Webster 

F.  B.  Skinner 
Maurice  Rady 
John  Abbey 

G.  L.  Grant 

A.  P.  Dickinson 
Osroy  Bartlett 
Wm.    Rogers 
W.  R.  Olcutt 
Chas.  Weston 
Chas.  Vuettner 
Frank  Karber 
John  White 

G.  N.  Brigham 
Frank  E.  White 
Alfred  Gainor 
Julius  Thrall 
J.  F.  Wicks 
Mathew  Cavanaugh 
Dennis  E.  Nooman 
William  V.  McNerney 
James  Lee 

B.  F.  Lloyd 

W.   J.  Thompson 
Silas  Putnam 
E.  P.  Allen 
Samuel  Wicks 




Cyrus  Winchell 
Michael  Regan 
August  Hemmann 
James  Looke 
Charles  Brown 
William  Scott 
Fred  Weber 
James  Breen 
Levi  Bailey- 
James  Stevens 
James  Gilfillan 
Thos.  F.  Burpee 
Chas.  C.  Blackman 
James  Sheehan 
Augustus  Truesdell 
Frank  Pfeifer 
Carlos  McKinney 
Ferdinand  Batz 
John  Gillis 
John  G.  Bonnett 
Redmond  Morrison 
John  Stewart 
J.  B.  Fuller 
John  Jackson 
N.   R.   Grant 
E.  S.  Henry 
Michael  A.  Burke 
Ralph  I.  Barber 
Edward  Kellogg 
H.  A.  Clifford 
John  Chapman 
Henry  Schmalz 
Thomas  Schick 

Chauncey  Winchell 
W.  H.  Jones 
Frank   Schmidt 
Edward  Marshman 
Martin  Burke 
Charles  Metcalf 
Patrick  Burns 
Samuel  Woods 
Edward  White 
Thomas   Forrest 
Thomas  Whatly 
Joseph  Selden 
R.  G.  Holt 
Edward  Batz 
Alex  Ritchie 
Daniel  Haas 
August  Reidel 
John  Pitney 
Henry  Marshman 
Martin  Yost 
Michael  Morrison 
Henry  Tiley 
James   Fuller 
Miles  King 
A.  Park  Hammond 
Louis  Pfeifer 
Henry  Selden 
Algernan  McKinney 
Martin  Truesdell 
Maurice  Rady 
James  Toole 
William  Harlan 
Hiram  Nuvell 

Revillo   Winchell 
John  Hook 
Adam  Weidner 
Gideon  Angell 
Martin  Dowling 
John   Schaefer 
William  Austin 
Lebbeus  Bissell 
Thomas  Eccles 
Edward  Hurlbut 
Hezekiah  McVernney 
S.  Albert  Groves 
Joseph  G.  Thompson 
August  Batz 
Andrew  G.  Metcalf 
Adolph  VanStaudt 
Max  Kolmer 
Thomas  Burt 
Gideon  Marshman 
Patrick  Buckley 
Rufus  Chamberlain 
Wm.  Randall 
M.  Buckley 
Patrick  Dwyer 
John  Denzler 
Oscar  Fidler 
Fred   Harding 
Cas.  G.  Pond 
Chas.  Pfeifer 
Henry  Purnell 
Jonathan  Ladd 
Valentine  Bentz 



Title  Page 

The  French  and  Indian  Wars   344 

The  Revolutionary  War 345 

The  War  of  1812 , 347 

The  Mexican  War    348 

The  Civil  War  349 

The  Spanish-American  War 357 

World  War  I   359 

World  War  II   367 

The  Korean  Conflict   381 

Centennial  Celebration    383 

Program  of  "Old  Home  Week" 386 

Connecticut's  Tercentenary  Celebration    389 

Title  Page 

Memorial  Hall  352 

Memorial  Tower  on  Fox  Hill 379 





On  the  following  pages  will  be  found  brief  accounts  of  the  wars 
in  which  the  Colonies  and  the  United  States  have  been  involved,  and 
in  which  there  has  been  an  increasing  participation  of  men  and  women 
of  the  town  of  Vernon. 

The  Honor  Roll  of  Vernon's  war  dead,  brought  up-to-date  in  1952, 
is  the  most  complete  and  comprehensive  in  the  entire  state  of  Connec- 
ticut. Even  so,  we  regretfully  suspect  that  the  names  of  some  have 
not  been  preserved  for  us. 



France  vs.  England   (England  received  aid  from  the  English 
Colonies  in  America.) 

Causes : 

( 1 )  Control  of  the  Ohio  Valley  was  the  immediate  cause  of 

(2)  Both  France  and  England  were  waging  war  for  the 
control  of  the  American  continent. 


( 1 )  English  civilization,  rather  than  Spanish  or  French,  was 
to  be  dominant  in  North  America. 

(2)  The  war  enabled  the  colonial  militia  to  acquire  valu- 
able military  experience  and  to  develop  such  leaders  as  Washing- 
ton, Schuyler,  Montgomery  and  others. 

(3)  The  removal  of  the  French  menace  made  the  colonies 
less  dependent  upon  the  mother  country  for  protection,  and,  there- 
fore, more  independent  in  their  attitude  toward  her. 

FRENCH  AND  INDIAN  WAR  -  1754-1763 


Loomis,  Elijah 


Brunson,  Isaac  Chapman,  Thomas  King,  Hezekiah 

Thrall,  Isaac 

In  addition  to  the  above,  according  to  the  Bolton  Records,  sev- 
eral Soldiers  from  Bolton  died  in  this  war: 

Levi  Strong  at  Fort  Edward,  July  25,  1757. 

Charles  King  at  Lake  George,  September  6,  1758. 

Thomas  Wells  on  his  return  from  the  Army  from  Crown  Point, 

November  30,  1759. 
Stephen  Boardman,  Jr.,  at  Oswego,  N.  Y.,  after  the  conquest  of 

Jonathan  Wright,  Jr.,  at  Oswego,  N.  Y. 
Hosea  Bronson,  at  Havana,  October  2,  1762. 


REVOLUTIONARY  WAR   (1775-1783) 


( 1 )  The  environment  of  the  New  World,  plus  long  periods 
of  "salutory  neglect,"  had  bred  a  spirit  of  liberty  and  self-reliance. 

(2)  The  theory  of  mercantilism  which  dominated  18th  cen- 
tury economic  thought  conflicted  with  the  vital  interests  of  the 
colonies  and  with  their  ideal  of  self-government  in  politics  and 
freedom  in  trade. 

(3)  The  unwise  policies  adopted  by  George  III  and  his  ad- 
visers after  1763  to  secure  more  effective  political  and  economic 
control  over  the  colonies  aroused  a  storm  of  opposition  and  led 
to  acts  of  violence  on  both  sides  which  made  reconciliation  impos- 


(1)  By  the  Treaty  of  Paris  (1783),  Great  Britain  recognized 
the  independence  of  the  United  States. 



Grant,  Elnathan 
King,   Lemuel 

Rogers,   Leonard 
Smith,  Roswell 

Squires,  Daniel 
Talcott,  Phineas 


Dart,   Leve 
Dart,  William 

Loomis,   Elijah 
Millard,  Leavitt 
Talcott,   Samuel 

Skinner,  Zenas 
Talcott,  Benjamin 


Chapman,    Phineas 
Chapman,  Thomas 
Chesebrough,  Jabez 
Dart,  William 
Dorchester,  David 
Emerson,  Andrew 
Grant,  Ozias 
Hunt,   William 
Johns   Abijah 
Johns,  Thomas 

Kellogg,  Ebenezer 
King,   Charles 
King,  Elijab 
King,  Dock  Joel 
King,  Oliver 
King,   Seth 
King,  Reuben 
King,  Stephen 
Loomis,  Solomon 
McKinney,  Alexander 

Payne,   John 
Pearle,  Joshua 
Pratt,  Timothy 
Root,  Daniel 
Root,  Samuel 
Talcott,  Benjamin 
Talcott,  Justus 
Tucker,  Ephian 
Walker,  John 
Webster,  Asabel 



The  closest  that  war  ever  came  to  Vernon  was  when  the  British 
burned  New  London,  on  the  6th  of  September,  1781.  That  event, 
along  with  the  battle  of  Groton  Heights,  caused  considerable  alarm 
through  the  inland  towns.  In  the  second  volume  of  Smith's  "His- 
tory of  Pittsfield"  is  told  the  story  of  what  happened  in  Vernon  on 
that  occasion: 

"Abel  West  was  in  his  early  manhood  when  the  Revolu- 
tionary War  broke  out.  The  little  congregation  in  Vernon 
being  assembled  for  worship  on  the  Sabbath,  a  courier  rushed 
in  and  announced  that  the  enemy  were  on  hand,  off  New 
London,  and  men  and  help  were  needed.  The  minister  stopped 
services  and  exhorted  his  people  to  take  their  arms  and  go. 
All  the  men  rushed  to  their  arms,  such  as  each  man  had. 
Young  West  was  lame  and  had  nothing  but  a  single  barreled 
fowling  piece,  but  he  was  there  on  the  ground  as  soon  as  his 
neighbors.  Governor  Trumbull,  seeing  his  lameness  and 
weapon,  assured  him  that  he  would  do  more  for  his  country 
by  going  home  and  raising  food  for  the  army  than  by  fight- 
ing. He  took  the  advice  and  returned  home;  but  the  fire  of 
patriotism  still  glowed,  and  grew  in  intensity,  till,  hearing 
how  hard  it  was  for  Washington  to  procure  food  for  his  army, 
he  sold  his  farm  and  put  the  "avails"  in  open  wagons  loaded 
with  food,  all  he  had  in  the  world,  and  started  south.  When 
passing  through  New  Jersey,  he  met  a  courier  riding  and 
shouting  that  Lord  Cornwallis  had  surrendered,  and  the  war 
was  over.  The  provisions  would  not  be  needed,  and  he  need 
not  proceed  further.  The  government  took  all  off  his  hands, 
paid  him  down  in  Continental  money,  which  was  not  worth  a 
farthing,  and  the  patriot  returned  home  stripped  of  all  he  had, 
and  was  a  poor  man  the  rest  of  his  days." 

There  is  reason  to  believe  that  this  story  has  been  exaggerated, 
especially  in  regard  to  the  voluntary  poverty  of  Abel  West,  for  the 
records  of  Bolton  show  that  in  1790  Abel  West  was  wealthy  enough 
to  buy  and  sell  lands  lying  in  the  present  town  of  Vernon. 

THE  WAR  OF  1812  (1812-1814) 

(1)  The  impressment  of  American  seamen  by  the  British. 

(2)  The  inexcusable  attack  of  the  British  man-of-war,  the 
Leopard,  upon  the  American  frigate,  the  Chesapeake,  in  1807. 

(3)  English  agents  provided  the  Indians  of  the  Northwest 
with  arms. 


(1)  The  Treaty  of  Ghent  reestablished  peace  between  the 
two  nations. 

(2)  The  chief  significance  of  the  War  of  1812  lay  in  its  ef- 
fects on  the  internal  development  of  our  own  country. 

WAR  OF  1812 


Carpenter,  Solomon         Kellogg,  Israel  McKinney,   Justus 

Colton,   Giden  Kingsbury,  John  Spellman,   Samuel  T. 

Tinker,  Lebius  P. 


Abbott,  John  Fuller,  Matthew  S.  McLean,   Francis 

Bruce,  Thadeus  Grant,   Elisha  Palmer,  Elliott 

Cady,  Russell  Hammond,  Joseph  Roberts,    Cornelius 

Chapman,  Andrew  Kellogg,  Martin  Rogers,  Auson 

Chapman,  Benjamin  King,  Joel  Talcott,  Phineas 

Chapman,   Elijah  King,  Oliver  H.  White,  Daniel 


Lee,  Elijah  Tucker,  Harvey 


Hunt,  Oliver  Kellogg,  Martin 


THE  MEXICAN  WAR  (1846-1848) 

( 1 )  The  annexation  of  Texas  bv  the  United  States. 

( 2 )  The  immediate  cause  of  hostilities  was  the  entrv  of 
General  Tavlor's  troops  into  the  disputed  area  between  the  Nueces 
River  and  the  Rio  Grande,  an  area  claimed  bv  both  Mexico  and 

Results : 

( 1 )  The  conflict  further  embittered  relations  between  Mex- 
ico and  the  United  States,  traces  of  this  enmity  surviving  to  our 
own  day. 

( 2 )  It  enabled  the  United  States  to  complete  its  expansion 
to  the  Pacific  coast. 

( 3 )  It  brought  to  the  front  once  again  the  status  of  slavery 
in  the  Western  Territories. 

According  to  the  National  Archives  and  Records  Service, 
Washington,  D.  C,  there  were  no  men  from  the  town  of  Vernon 
in  the  regular  Army  during  the  Mexican  War.  There  are  in  the 
War  Department  no  records  of  volunteer  troops  from  Connecticut 
who  served  in  this  war. 


THE  CIVIL  WAR  (1361-1865) 

( 1 )  The  withdrawal  of  the  Southern  states  from  the  Union. 

(2)  The  conflict  between  two  different  economic  and  so- 
cial systems. 

( 3 )  The  quarrel  over  slavery. 


( 1 )  The  Union  was  preserved. 

(2)  Slavery  was  abolished. 

(3)  Democracy  was  put  to  its  greatest  test — survived. 

The  men  who  were  drafted  from  Vernon  went  to  the  Florence 
Mill,  now  the  Envelope  Shop,  where  there  was  a  recruiting  office. 
The  Boys  in  Blue  did  not  leave  town  in  busses  or  trains.  They  were 
loaded  into  big  wagons  drawn  by  four  horses  and  taken  to  Vernon, 
and  there  they  took  the  train. 

A  morgue  was  established  in  the  schoolroom  of  what  is  now 
the  First  Lutheran  Church  on  West  Main  Street.  Bodies  of  the 
dead  were  brought  there  for  Union  soldiers  and  relatives  to  identifv. 

Edward  A.  Denzler,  "the  Mayor  of  Ward  Street"  has  told  of 
the  time  of  Abraham  Lincoln's  assassination — that  the  message  was 
brought  to  Rockville  bv  telegraph,  the  telegraph  office  being  lo- 
cated in  a  hardware  store  in  the  basement  of  the  Second  Congrega- 
tional Church.  There  were  no  radios  and  no  telephones  then.  All 
the  bells  in  town  rang,  and  people  came  from  every  direction  to 
see  what  had  happened. 



Auld,  John 
Avery,  Frederick  B. 
Bailey,  Joseph 
Bailey,   Leo 
Batten,  William 
Bever,  August 
Bilson,  Henry  J. 
Bowers,  Abner  S. 
Bradley,  Henry  J. 

Brigham,  George  N. 
Brooks,  Charles  U. 
Brown,  Avery 
Bruce.   William  C. 
Burpee,  Thomas  F. 
Burr,  Bela  L. 
Carson,  David  I. 
Chadwick,  John  H. 
Chapin,   Loan  A. 

Chapman,  Daniel  F. 
Charter,    Leverett 
Colburn,  George  W. 
Cooley,  Charles  C. 
Dart, 'Charles  E. 
Dart,  Egbert 
Dickinson,  Francis  P. 
Durfee,  Thomas  M. 
Ellis,  Samuel  K. 




Emerson,   William 
Emery.   Ira 
Fehr,  Jacob 
Febber,  Jacob 
Forrest,   Samuel  A. 
Frank,  Jacob 
Fuller,  Lafayette  D. 
Gainer,  Albert  E. 
Gainer,  Frederick  H. 
Gakeler,  Albert 
Gilmore,  Robert 
Goldrick,   John   T. 
Goodell,  William  W. 
Goodrick,  George  W. 
Griswold,  Loren  S. 
Griswold,  Russell 
Griswold,  Willard 
Gross,  August 
Hammond,  A.  Park 
Hartenstein.  Louis 
Hayes,  Edwin  C. 
Henimann,   August 
Hetzler,   John 
Hells,  Orrin  O. 
Hirst,  Benjamin 
Hirst,  John 
Hirst,  Joseph 
Holt,  Roland 
Holtsizer,  John 
Hook,  William 
Hoy,  Frederick 
Hunt,  Lewis  W. 
Isham,  John  W. 
Jackson,  Cyrus  F. 
James,  Joseph  H. 
Julian,  John  F. 
Keller,  John  F. 
King,  Albert  J. 
King,  Harvey 
Koehler,  Jacob  A. 

Laurin,  John  W. 
Lathrop,  Edwin  H. 
Lee,  George 
Lee,  Richard 
London,  George 
Loomis,  William  H. 
Lutz,  Jacob 
Maine,   Frank  D. 
Mann,  William 
Martin,  Elisha  J. 
McFarlane,    Charles 
Mcintosh,  David 
McKinney,  Austin  A. 
McPherson,  John 
Metcalf,  Martin  U.  B. 
Miller,  John  F. 
Muller,  Karl 
Myer,   Emil 
Newell,  Julius  H. 
Newell,   Kilbourne  E. 
Noad,  William  J. 
Orven,  Henry 
Parker,  Augustine  B. 
Pease,  Charles  W. 
Pease,  Horatio  E. 
Pennovsky,  Oscar 
Phelpo,   Lester  D. 
Phillipp,   Louis 
Pierce,  George  A. 
Pinney,  Lyman  D. 
Porter,  Joseph 
Post,  Edwin 
Pratt,  Thomas  S. 
Pryor,  Issac  T. 
Putnam,  Adam  P. 
Rapp,  Henry 
Reed,  Richard 
Reedel,  August 
Resier,  Franz  J. 
Rentschler,   John 

Renz,  Christopher 
Rich,  Albert  L. 
Rich,  Samuel  C. 
Rockwell,  Asahel   S. 
Root,  William  B. 
Schrieier,  Louis 
Schrieier,   Otto 
Scott,  William 
Seymour,    Buch 
Skinner,  Alden 
Smith,  Isaac  N. 
Snell,  Marcus  N. 
Stebbins,  Elton  R. 
Stickney,  John  W. 
Stoughton,  Erwin 
Stranbeld,   Gristow 
Strong,  William  H. 
Symonds,  Edwin 
Symonds,  John 
Tiley,  Henry 
Towne,  Albert  H. 
Truesdell,  Alfred  W. 
Truesdell,  Harlan  P. 
Truesdell,  Martin  A. 
Vinton,   Chelsea  G. 
Warner,  Alfred  B. 
West,  Delrone 
Weston,  Charles 
Wicks,  Frederick 
Wicks,  Genge 
Willibold,  Walter 
Williams,  John 
Willis,  Dominick 
Winans,  William  H. 
Wood,   Charles  W. 
Wyllys,  Charles  A. 
Yost,    Martin 
Young,  Fred  W. 


Abbott,  Thomas  F. 
Austin,   Eugene   G. 
Banker,  Charles  E. 
Baker,  Denison 
Bingham.  George  S. 
Blinn,   Henry  E. 
Dart,  Oliver 

Edgerton,  Alton  L. 
George,  William  H. 
Harvey,    Melvin 
Kneeland,  Dwight 
Ogden,  John  A. 
Orcutt,  Henry 
Pearl,  Henry  M. 

Perkins,  Russell  W, 
Pratt.  Henrv  W. 
Talcott,  Allyn  K. 
Thompson,  Jacob 
Thrall,  Charles  G. 
Warren,   Gilbert 




Bantley,  Francis 
Brown,  Orrin  O. 
Bushnell,  James  M. 
Foster,  Philip  H. 
Gammons,  Warren  S. 
Griswold,  Ward  H. 

Hills,    Alonzo 
Hollister,  Orin  G. 
Hunn,  Horace 
Loomis,  Henry  S. 
Lord,  Sylvester  G. 
McCollum,  Henry  F. 

Percival,  John  H. 
Pierce,  Albert  B. 
Pinney,  Henry  G. 
Stoughton,  Frank  E. 


Abby,  John 
Boyne,  Patrick 
Brennan,  John  W. 
Conner,  Patrick 
Cowan,  William 
Farrell,   James 
Farrell,  James 
Farrell,  Matthew 
Farrell,  Matthew 
Fay,  Michael 
Fay,  Patrick 
Foley,   Patrick 

Jackson,   Patrick 
Kelly,  Daniel 
Kernan,  Thomas 
LaCrosse,   Felix 
Ladd,  George  W. 
McCarthy,  Samuel 
Messier,  George 
Molloy,  Thomas 
Moore,  Dennis 
Murphy,  William 
Willeke,  Frederick 
Murray,   Joseph 

Noone,  Patrick 
O'Connell,   John 
O'Brien,  Patrick 
Powers,  John 
Rich,  Eustus 
Stafford,  Joseph 
Stark,  Thomas 
Tate,  George 
Tone,  Thomas 
Tierney,   Michael 





For  twenty  years  nothing  was  done  to  commemorate  the  336 
heroes  of  the  Town  of  Vernon,  who  fell  in  the  War  of  the  Rebel- 
lion. It  was  not  until  the  year  1884  that  any  public  action  in  the 
matter  was  taken.  William  W.  Andros  had  the  honor  of  bringing 
it  before  the  people  at  the  Memorial  Day  exercises  at  Rockville. 
At  that  time  he  read  a  paper  presenting  strongly  the  obligations 
of  the  town  to  its  soldiers,  and  made  a  vigorous  plea  for  a  memorial 
in  their  honor. 

At  the  next  Annual  Town  Meeting  in  October,  1884,  a  resolu- 
tion was  introduced  bv  William  W.  Andros  asking  for  an  appropria- 
tion to  erect  a  soldiers'  memorial  monument.  Judge  Dwight  Loomis 
and  several  others  were  strongly  in  favor  of  a  memorial  for  the  sol- 
diers but  not  in  the  particular  form  suggested.  Thev  advocated 
erecting  a  large  and  handsome  building  which  would  not  onlv  be 
a  fitting  memorial  for  soldiers  but  at  the  same  time  be  of  use  and 
benefit  to  the  town.  A  committee  was  therefore  chosen  consist- 
ing of  William  W.  Andros,  Judge  Dwight  Loomis,  A.  P.  Hammond, 
E.  S.  Henry,  Dr.  A.  R.  Goodrich  and  H.  Gardner  Talcott  to  con- 
sider the  matter  and  report  at  a  future  meeting. 

At  the  Annual  Town  Meeting  of  October,  1885,  the  committee 
recommended  the  purchase  of  a  site  for  the  building.  Thev  were 
in  favor  of  buying  the  lot  at  the  corner  of  Park  and  School  Streets 
from  Benezet  H.  Bill  for  $7,000.  The  town  voted  to  do  it,  and 
soon  after  the  lot  was  bought. 

At  the  Annual  Town  Meeting  October  3,  1887,  the  town  voted 
to  appropriate  $75,000  for  a  Memorial  and  Town  Building  on  the 
Park  and  School  Streets  site,  according  to  the  plans  presented  bv 
the  Building  Committee  chosen — E.  S.  Henrv,  James  Fitzgerald. 
George  Sykes,  A.  P.  Hammond  and  Dr.  A.  R.  Goodrich. 

Soon  after  the  meeting  there  developed  considerable  opposi- 
tion to  the  Park  Street  site  which  found  expression  in  a  call  for  a 
Town  Meeting  on  February  11,  1888,  to  see  if  the  town  would 
rescind  the  vote  to  build  on  the  site  purchased,  and  buv  the 
Dowling  lot,  near  the  corner  of  Union  and  West  Main  Streets. 

A  large  and  well-drawn  map  of  Rockville  designed  to  show  the 
poor  location  of  the  site  bought  bv  the  town  on  Park  and  School 
Streets  was  exhibited  in  the  post  office  lobbv.  The  map  was  in- 
tended to  show  Dowling's  Corner,  Union  and  Main  Streets  as  a 
more  desirable  location. 



At  a  special  town  meeting  gathered  to  decide  the  question  of 
changing  the  location,  it  was  voted  345  to  235  in  favor  of  the 
Dowling  lot,  but  it  was  discovered  that  Dowling  wouldn't  sell  the 
lot,  as  he  had  planned  to  build  a  business  block  there. 

Then  it  was  suggested  that  the  First  Church  lot  would  make 
the  best  possible  site.  So  another  special  town  meeting  was  held 
on  March  31,  1888,  and  at  that  time  George  Maxwell,  Samuel  Fitch 
and  others  offered  to  give  the  town  the  Jackson  lot  on  Union 
Street,  east  of  the  site  on  which  the  library  now  stands,  valued  at 
$12,000,  free,  for  a  hall  site.  This  meeting  was  adjourned  until 
April  14,  1888,  when  a  vote  by  ballot  was  taken  for  the  Church  lot 
or  the  Jackson  lot,  resulting  in  1,021  votes  cast;  595  to  426  in  favor 
of  the  First  Church  lot.  The  polls  opened  at  8  A.M.  and  closed  at 
5  P.M. 

The  site  secured  proved  ideal  for  such  a  building.  Located 
in  the  business  center  of  the  town,  it  is  a  conspicuous  object  from 
every  direction.  It  fronts  the  beautiful  Central  Park,  adjoins  the 
fine  Henry  Building  on  the  east  and  the  imposing  Methodist  Church 
edifice  on  the  west.  The  lot  on  Park  Place  is  148  feet  with  a 
depth  of  93  feet  east,  and  on  the  west  the  lot  extends  back  193 

It  is  a  magnificent  building  for  the  use  of  the  town:  on  the  first 
floor  there  are  various  town  offices,  on  the  second  floor  is  located 
the  court  room,  with  numerous  ante-rooms,  and  on  the  third  floor 
is  the  town  hall,  covering  nearly  the  whole  space  of  the  building, 
66  feet  by  99  feet.  The  plans  were  prepared  by  Richmond  &  Sea- 
bury,  Springfield,  architects,  and  the  contract  for  $68,150  was  with 
Darling  Brothers,  Worcester,  Massachusetts.  Over  one  million 
bricks  were  used  in  the  building. 

Memorial  Day  on  Thursday,  May  30,  1889,  was  more  truly  and 
completely  a  memorial  day  than  any  previously  held,  for  this  was 
the  appointed  time  for  the  laying  of  the  corner  stone  of  the  Me- 
morial Building. 

At  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  a  parade  was  formed  on  Union 
Street  and  moved  to  Memorial  Hall.  Dr.  A.  R.  Goodrich  presided 
over  the  exercises.  A  patriotic  selection  was  rendered  by  the 
American  Band;  opening  prayer,  Rev.  O.  W.  Scott;  an  oration  by 
Judge  Dwight  Loomis.  At  the  close  of  the  oration,  President 
Goodrich  requested  the  Grand  Lodge  of  Connecticut  Free  and 
Accepted  Masons  to  lay  the  corner-stone,  according  to  the  sacred 
rites  of  the  craft. 


Past  Grand  Master  Green  conducted  the  ceremonies.  Prayer 
was  offered  by  Grand  Chaplain  Warner.  A  box  of  documents  was 
placed  within  a  stone  which  was  dedicated  by  the  pouring  upon 
it  of  corn,  wine  and  oil.  There  were  brief  addresses  by  Past  Mas- 
ter Green  and  Department  Commander  Pierpont. 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  cornerstone  of  the  Memorial  Hall 
is  over  the  identical  place  where  previously  there  stood  a  temple 
dedicated  to  the  living  God — the  First  Congregational  Church. 

The  first  gathering  in  the  town  hall  of  the  Memorial  Building 
was  a  special  town  meeting  on  Saturday  afternoon,  September  6, 
1890,  at  2  o'clock.  The  building  committee  presented  its  detailed 
report  of  the  building,  showing  the  total  cost  of  $88,106.05.  The 
final  payment  on  the  Memorial  building  was  made  in  September, 

Judge  Dwight  Loomis  observed  that  there  was  one  grave  over- 
sight in  the  planning.  No  room  had  been  given  to  a  public  library 
and  reading  room.  He  remarked  that  E.  S.  Henry  in  1887  had  of- 
fered to  be  one  of  ten  to  give  $1,000  a  year  for  ten  years  towards 
such  a  room  for  a  library.  Judge  Loomis  also  spoke  of  the  desira- 
bility of  suitable  tablets  which  would  recognize  the  individual  sol- 
dier. He  submitted  the  following  resolution  which  was  adopted, 
but  not  carried  out: 

Resolved: — "That  the  public  duty  of  properly  per- 
petuating the  memory  of  the  services  of  those  brave  men 
is  not  fully  discharged  until  suitable  tablets  are  placed  in 
the  vestibule  of  Memorial  Building  whereon  shall  be  re- 
corded the  name  and  regiment  of  every  soldier  enlisting 
from  the  Town  of  Vernon  and  voted  that  a  committee  of 
five  be  appointed  and  instructed  to  procure  suitable  bronze 
tablets  in  accordance  with  the  foregoing  resolution,  and 
also  to  erect  at  the  expense  of  the  Town  a  proper  pedestal 
with  a  symbolic  statue  whenever  sufficent  funds  are  pro- 
vided by  public  subscription  to  defray  the  cost  of  the 

A  tragedy  occurred  during  the  erection  of  the  building.  An- 
tonio Colombe,  39,  a  bricklayer  from  Holyoke,  Massachusetts,  fell 
from  the  tower,  a  distance  of  sixty  feet,  on  Thursday,  September 
26,  1889,  and  was  instantly  killed.  A  week  later,  on  Friday,  Oc- 
tober 4,  two  workmen,  August  Jensen  and  John  Hanse,  Worcester, 
Massachusetts,  repairing  the  staging  on  the  front  of  Union  Church 
tower  fell  seventy  feet,  and  were  killed. 


In  November,  1952,  for  the  first  time  since  the  City  of  Rock- 
ville  was  incorporated  in  1889,  an  appropriation  was  made  by  the 
voters  to  make  possible  a  radical  change  in  the  departments  situ- 
ated on  the  entire  west  ground  floor  of  the  Memorial  Building. 

The  alterations  were  started  in  November,  1952,  and  com- 
pleted in  December,  1953,  at  a  cost  to  the  city  of  $2,872.67,  in- 
cluding the  changing  of  the  former  Common  Council  Chamber, 
occupied  by  the  Mayor,  the  City  Clerk  and  Superintendent  of  Pub- 
lic Works  and  the  present  Police  Department. 

What  was  formerly  the  Police  Station  located  in  the  center  of 
the  three  departments  is  now  the  office  of  the  Superintendent  of 
Public  Works  and  that  of  the  Building  Inspector.  The  rear  cham- 
ber north,  formerly  the  Police  Court  Room,  is  now  occupied  jointly 
by  the  Police  Court  and  Court  of  Common  Council.  The  various 
departments  have  been  modernized,  and  asphalt  tiling  laid  on  the 
entire  floor,  and  the  cost  to  the  Town  of  Vernon,  according  to  Se- 
lectman Pagani,  was  approximately  $4,000.  The  total  cost  of  the 
change  was  approximately  $7,000. 


(1)  The  sinking  of  the  U.S.S.  Maine  while  on  a  visit  to 

(2)  The  cruel  measures  employed  by  Spain's  General  Wey- 
ler  to  crush  the  insurrection  in  Cuba. 


(1)  The  United  States  emerged  from  the  conflict  with  the 
rank  of  a  world  power. 

(2)  The  United  States  acquired  Puerto  Rico,  Guam,  and 
the  Philippine  Islands.  (Spain  agreed  to  give  up  the  Philippines 
in  return  for  $20,000,000.) 

ROWAN,  U.  S.  ARMY. 

Captain — Martin  Laubscher 

Lieutenants — 1st,  John  Paul  Haun;  2nd,  Frederick  W.  Chapman. 

First  Sergeant — James  H.  Barnett. 

Sergeants — Quartermaster,   Francis  Murray;   Charles  B.   Milne,   Arthur 
W.  Gyngell,  *James  W.  Milne,  Albert  E.  Usher. 

Corporals — 1st,  William  F.  Schillinger;  2nd,  Webster  Kaye;  3rd,  James 
S.   Jones;   4th,   Arthur  R.   Gerich;    5th,   William   J.   Breen;    6th,   Albert 

E.  M.  Profe. 

Musicians — William  J.  Finley,  Walter  F.  McCray. 

Artificer — Henry  C.  Seipt. 


Charles  R.  Anderson  Hugo  Broil  Philip  Diedering,  Jr. 

Sylvester  E.  Arnold  Harry  J.  Brown  Francis  F.  Einseidel 

Ernest  E.  Austin  Frank  D.  Chadwick  James  B.  Farrell 

Albert  C.  Bartlett  Richard  G.  Champion  Francis  P.  Fitzpatrick 

James  A.  Beaumont  Wilbur  F.  Charter  Joseph  H.  Flynn 

Charles  E.  Binck  Jesse  Clift  Otto  Flossbach 

Richard  Brache  John  Connors,  2nd  Herman  P.  Franz 

Frank  S.  Breen  Jewitt  Cullum  John  E.  Gawtrey 




George  F.   Gorham 
*Felix  Gross 
Manville  Grumback 
John  J.  Hecker 
George  A.  Hewitt 
John  A.  Hewitt 
Andrew  Hopf 
Squire  Jackson 
Jason  D.  Lowell 
Charles  F.  Ludwig 
James  H.  Lutton 
Joseph  H.  Lutz 
Thomas  P.  Lynch 
Mathew  McNamara 

Philip  J.  Mahr 
Ferfinand  A.  Matthewson 
George  Meyer 
George  H.  Miller 
Thomas  L.  Millott 
Thomas  F.  Moore 
John  C.  Murphy 
Donald  K.  McLagan 
Thomas  F.  Newbury 
Francis  M.  Norton 
John  J.  O'Neil 
William  Phillips 
Frederick  J.  A.  H.  Profe 
James  J.  Quinn 

Robert  H.  Rau 
John  Regan 
Emil  R.  Schwerwitzky 
Carl  C.  Schmeiske 
Emil  W.  Schmieske 
Ernest  A.  Sharp 
Isaac  Simms 
John  H.  Smith 
Frederick  W.  Stengel 
Henry  H.  Tracy 
Herman  C.  Wagner 
Anthony  Wanneger 
Walter  J.  Willis 
Howard  Winchell 

-Died  of  typhoid  fever,  contracted  while  in  the  service  of  Uncle  Sam. 



Capt.  Martin  Laubscher 
Bartlett,  Albert  C.  Gross,   Felix 

Burpee,  Lucien  P.  Grumback,   Manville 

Chapman,  Frederick  W.  Gyngell,  Arthur  W. 
Cliff,  Jesse  Hervitt,   George  A. 

Flossbach,  Otto  E.  Milne,  James  W. 

Proffe,  Albert 
Schmeiske,  Carl  C. 
Rockwell,  Thomas  F. 
Thayer,  George  B. 
Waidner,  Charles  J. 


Barnett,  James  H. 
Breen,   William  J. 
Hecker,  John  J. 
Hefferon,  William  M. 

McNamara,  Matthew 
Murphy,  John  C. 
Newbury,  Henry  C. 
Phillips,  William  J. 

Quinn,  James  J. 
Willis,  Walter  J. 
Belotte,  Joseph  J. 
Bliss,  George  F. 
Brown,  Robert  J. 
Byron,  William  C. 
Cahill,  William 
Ciechowski,  Joseph 
Doherty,  James  E. 
Plesa,  Michael  S. 

Edwards,  Thomas 
Farrell,   Stephen  J. 
Hatheway,  John  E. 
Kaminski,  Genevieve  R 
Kennedy,   John 
King,  Ivan 
Kleindienst,  John  C. 
Leahy,  William  D. 
Moore,  Joseph  J. 

WORLD  WAR  I  (1917-1918) 


( 1 )  Germany's  unrestricted  submarine  campaign. 

(2)  The  idea  that  it  was  our  duty  to  enter  the  war  in  order 
to  "end  autocracy"  and  help  "make  the  world  safe  for  democracy" 
was  very  real  in  1917. 

Results : 

(1)  The  Central  Powers  were  defeated. 

(2)  President  Wilson  succeeded  in  getting  the  Covenant  of 
the  League  of  Nations  adopted  as  the  first  article  of  the  Treaty  of 
Versailles.  The  United  States  Senate  rejected  the  Treaty  of  Ver- 

(3)  The  United  States  did  not  join  the  League  of  Nations. 
The  United  States  embarked  on  a  policy  of  isolationism  during  the 


Ahern,   Howard  G. 
AmEnde,  Albert 
Anderson,  Gustave 
Andrews,  Frederick  P. 
Andrews,  Roland  Nelson 
Anear,  Earl  Leslie 
Atcheson,  Walter  Harvey 
Athanacelous,  Alkiviades 
Ayer,  Floyd  E. 
Backofen,  Alfred  H. 
Backofen,  Ernest  P. 
Backofen,  Walter  P. 
Backofen,  William 
Badsteubner,  Frank  A. 
Baer,  Max  P. 
Baer,  William  A. 
Bajorin,  Bartholomew 
Barber,  James  S. 
Batz,   Charles  F. 
Bean,  Allen  D. 
Beaverstock,  Lester  H. 
Beebe,  Olin  J. 
Beinhauer,  William 
Bellucci,   Harry 
Benton,  Lester  F. 
Benton,  Rutherford 

Beer,  Alfred  W. 
Bilcelki,  Alex 
Bissell,  Lebbeus  F. 
Blankenburg,  Charles  W. 
Blonstein,  Morris  L. 
Blonstein,   Reuben 
Bock,  John 
Bowers,  Ira  E. 
Brahe,  Ferdinard  H. 
Brennan,  James  J. 
Brigham,  George  N. 
Brogowski,  John  J. 
Brown,  Robert  J. 
Buchanan,  Robert  L. 
Burkhardt,  Walter  A. 
Burney,  Alexander 
Byrnes,  Edward  T. 
Cadder,  Thomas  M. 
Cahill,   William 
Caron,  Walter  E. 
Carver,  Justin  B. 
Carver,  Percy  H. 
Cattone,  William  R. 
Chapin,  Harry 
Chapman,  Daniel  E. 
Chapman,  Lewis  H. 

Charter,  Legrand  F. 
Chase,  William  R. 
Christopher,  Gordon  N. 
Church,  Elmer  A. 
Ciechowski,   John  S. 
Ciechowski,  Joseph 
Clark,  Charles  E. 
Clark,  George  E. 
Colombo,  John  J. 
Columbo,  Paul  F. 
Conrady,  Carl 
Coogan,  Edward  B. 
Cook,  Caspar 
Cooley,  Percy  L. 
Cooley,  Sterling  C. 
Cormier,    Robert 
Couture,  Peter  E. 
Covras,  William  N. 
Cratty,  Francis  B. 
Cratty,  John  J. 
Crossett,  Sidney  R. 
Crossley,  John  D. 
Crough,  Olin  J. 
Cyrkiewicz,  Frank 
Davies,  Robert  A. 
Davis,  Elmer  W. 





Davis,  Ray  A. 
Deal,  Alfred  F. 
Deal,  William  W. 
Dean,  Philip 
Deptula,  John  K. 
Deptula,   Louis 
Deptula,  William 
Desso,  Rufus  D. 
Dickinson,  Allan  L. 
Dickinson,  Francis  M. 
Dimock,  Howard  Orrin 
Dobosz,   Stanley 
Doggert,  Robert  J. 
Doherty,  Charles  F. 
Doherty,  Cornelius  H. 
Doherty,  James  E. 
Dowding,  Eldred  F. 
Dowding,  Harold  N. 
Dowling,  Martin  C. 
Doyle,  John  J.,  Jr. 
Duell,  Christopher  J. 
Dunbar,  Washington 
Dunlap,  William  J. 
Elliott,  Frederick  L. 
Elliott,  George  F. 
Elliott,   Walter 
Ellis,  Elton  H. 
Emery,  Theodore  Ira 
Ertel,  Harry  F. 
Fahey,  James  W. 
Fahey,  Raphael  E. 
Fahey,  Raymond  A. 
Farr,  Thomas  J. 
Fay,  James  R. 
Filip,  Frank  A. 
Finley,  George  H. 
Finley,   Vincent 
Fiss,  Charles  A. 
Fiss,  William  C. 
Fitch,  James  Judd 
Flaherty,  Leo  B. 
Flamm,  Harry  W. 
Flechsig,  Albert 
Forrest,  John  E. 
Frey,  Arthur  Peter 
Frey,  Charles  J. 
Friedrich,  Albert 
Frieze,  John  Peter 
Fryer,  Curtis  F. 
Gambosi,  John 
Gearin,  William 
Gebhardt,  Carl 
Georgie,   William 
Gerich,  Carl  E. 
Gerich,  Charles  J. 

Gerich,   Fred  W. 
Glasser,  Paul 
Goldberg,  Maurice 
Goldfield,  Ben  E. 
Goldfield,  Harry 
Goldfield,  Meyer 
Gonsensky,  Stephen 
Gough,  Francis  J. 
Gough,  William  T. 
Grant,  William  John 
Green,  Frank  J. 
Greer,  Frank  A. 
Grennan,  John  L. 
Griffin,  Herbert 
Grous,  Bronislaw 
Grous,  William  G. 
Gsell,  Arthur 
Gworek,  Jacob 
Hammond,  George  E. 
Hanawold,  Albert  F. 
Hannan,   William   G. 
Hansen,   Henry  P. 
Hansen,  Milton  C. 
Hansen,  Walter  E. 
Hany,  Ernest  J. 
Harding,  Edward  G. 
Hartenstein,   Frederick 
Hartman,  Leslie  L. 
Haun,  Ralph 
Haun,  Renatus  C. 
Hecker,  Edward  J. 
Heckler,  Arthur  D. 
Hefferon,  Hamilton  H. 
Heintz,  Edward  Henry 
Held,  Gottlieb  M. 
Held,  Ottmar  Henry 
Heller,  Adolph  G. 
Heller,  Benjamin 
Heller,  William 
Herig,  Edwin  J. 
Herring,  Clifford  L. 
Hill,  Emory  O. 
Hiller,  George  K. 
Hirth,  William  K. 
Hitchcock,  Charles  W. 
Holden,  James  J. 
Hollister,  Hudson  W. 
Holtsizer,  John  C. 
Hopkins,  Walter  E. 
Huebner,  Adam 
Hunniford,  Herbert  F. 
Hunniford,  William 
Hvesuk,  Nicholas 
Irmischer,  Paul 
Jelinek,   Francis  J. 

Jelinek,  John  J. 
Jeskalis,  Edward 
John,  Pavlos  H. 
Johnson,  Chester  W. 
Jones,   Everett  W. 
Kaminski,  Genevieve  R. 
Kania,  Francis 
Karagianakis,  John  L. 
Keeney,  David  Nelson 
Keeney,  Gordon  Henry 
Keeney,  Roger  Moore 
Kellem,  Clarence  E. 
Kellem,  George  W. 
Kellner,  Carl  A. 
Kellner,  Carl  S. 
Kelley,  Joseph  D. 
Kennedy,  John  T. 
Keune,  August 
Kingsbury,  Charles  H. 
Kingsbury,  Fred  Dewey 
Kington,  William  E. 
Kleindienst,  John  G. 
Klisko,  John 
Kobak,  Joseph  A. 
Koch,  Clarence  F. 
Koratieus,  Felix 
Koschwitz,  Fritz 
Krause,  Albert  W. 
Krause,  Hillmar 
Krause,  Plenny  G. 
Kreh,  Henry  Aimer 
Kriz,  Benjamin 
Kulo,  Joseph 
Kwiatkowski,    John 
Kynoch,  William  A. 
LaChapell,  Victor  T. 
Ladish,  William  O. 
Landers,  John  L. 
Lanz,  Charles  Erwin 
Lassow,  Curtis  W. 
Lathrop,  Perry  A. 
Laubscher,  Louis  K. 
Laubscher,  Martin  P. 
Lebeskevsky,  Harry 
Lee,  Christopher  A. 
Lee,  William 
Lehmann,  Paul  C. 
Lerner,  Herman  C. 
Lessig,  Albert  R. 
Lewis,  Harry  Y. 
Liebe,  Milton  R. 
Liebe,  William  C. 
Lisk,  Charles  G. 
Lisk,  Henry 
Little,   Alfred  F. 




Litz,    Frederick   A. 
Litz,  William  E. 
Loeffler,   Albert  H. 
Loomis,  Harold  F. 
Loomis,  Rodney  L. 
Loos,  William  Emil 
Lee,  Asa  R. 
Lounsbury,  Harold  C. 
Lucas,  Alex  S. 
Luetjen,  Fred  W.  G. 
Luetjen,  William  Otto 
Lutton,  Thomas  J. 
Lutton,  William  J. 
Lutz,  John 
Lutz,  Charles  Frank 
Lynch,   William   F. 
Madden,  Thomas  J. 
Maher,  John 
Mahoney,   George  J. 
Mann,  Elton  A. 
Marcinowski,  Benjamin 
Markert,  Henry  J. 
Marley,  William  P. 
Marshnoske,  Frank  P. 
Martley,  Francis  J. 
Mason,  Albert  L. 
Mataitis,  Clemens 
May,  Otto  F. 
Maynard,  Leroy  D. 
McCorriston,  David  J. 
McCarthy,  Charles  E. 
McGray,  John  S. 
Mcintosh,   James  L. 
McKenna,   Raymond 
McKenna,  John  J. 
McNally,  James 
McNally,  Thomas  W. 
McNeill,  Maine  R. 
Mead,  Nelson  C. 
Mehr,  Howard 
Menge,  Paul 
Meredith,  Edward  G. 
Merrell,  Leslie  C. 
Mertens,  Arthur 
Mertens,  William  K. 
Metcalf,  Elliot  H. 
Metcalf,  Joseph  H. 
Metcalf,  Mildred  A. 
Miller,  Alexander  B. 
Miller,  Charles  A. 
Miller,  Emil  H. 
Miller,  George 
Miller,  John  H. 
Miller,  Julius 
Miller,  Leslie  W. 

Miller,  Nathan 
Miller,  Walter  Carl 
Mills,  Claude  A. 
Minor,  Joseph  Eugene 
Moaklar,  Edward  J. 
Monahan,  Raphael  J. 
Monnett,  Frederick  E. 
Morgan,  Clarence 
Morgan,   Joseph  L. 
Morrell,   Arthur  E. 
Morrell,  Leroy 
Much,  Fred  Herman 
Mulligan,  Francis  J. 
Murray,  Raymond  B. 
Neill,  Joseph  S. 
Neupert,  Walter  C. 
Noad,  Claude  W. 
North,  Charles  S. 
North,  Francis 
North,  Henry  T. 
J.  North,  William  J. 
North,  Patrick  W. 
Nutland,  Albert 
Obenauf,  Ernest 
O'Hara,  Hubert  L. 
O'Hara,  John  F. 
Ohls,  William  L. 
Orlowsky,  William  B. 
Palozie,   Frank 
Pappas,  James 
Pennell,  Edward  F. 
Pero,  George  E. 
Perzanowski,  Joseph 
Philipp,  Oscar  F. 
Pieniek,  Frank 
Pippin,  Wilfred 
Pitkat,  William 
Pitney,  Louis  P. 
Playotes,  Arestedes 
Poehnert,  William 
Polenska,  Helen  E. 
Polenska,  Sophie  B. 
Prichard,   Francis  J. 
Raisch,  George  F. 
Ransom,  Harold  F. 
Ransom,  Leslie  F. 
Rawliners,  John  H. 
Reed,  Elmer  L. 
Regan,  William  F. 
Reichard,  Harry 
Reid,  Frederick  J. 
Reiske,  Michael 
Reiser,  Frank  Arno 
Reuger,  Raymond  C. 
Rich,  George  J. 

Richter,  William  R. 
Rider,  George  C. 
Robbins,  Myron  Arthur 
Rosenski,  John 
Rubazewicz,  Alex. 
Ryan,  Stephen  J. 
Saba,  Michael 
Sadlak,  William  V. 
St.  Louis,  Damase 
Scheets,  Arthur  M. 
Scheets,  Walter  H. 
Scheibe,  Jacob 
Scheibe,   John  C. 
Scheiner,  Robert  H. 
Schindler,  Ernest  A. 
Schlott,  Paul  O. 
Schmeiske,  Rudloph  C. 
Schneider,  John 
Schneider,   William 
Schnering,    Conrad 
Schook,  Omer 
Schortmann,  Albert  C. 
Schreiter,  Valentine  G. 
Schrump,  Walter  C. 
Schweitzer,  Fred  J. 
Schweitzer,  John  W. 
Seibert,  John 
Sharp,  Herbert  E. 
Shea,  Thomas  C. 
Sherman,  Nick  I. 
Skibiski,  Carl  H. 
Skinner,  Alden  G. 
Skoglund,  Ernest  L. 
Smith,  Charles  A. 
Smith,  Henry  P. 
Smith,  Joseph  James 
Smith,  Louis  J. 
Smith,  Louis  J. 
Smith,  William  J. 
Spielman,  Herbert  A. 
Spielman,  Walter 
Stachura,  Frank  J. 
Stankiewicz,  Bronislaw 
Stegeman,  F.  C. 
Stengel,  Fred  E. 
Stengle,  Edward  P. 
Stiles,  David  M. 
Stralkowsky,   Charles 
Sucheski,  Otto  J. 
Sullivan,  James  M. 
Summer,  William  A. 
Sweeney,  Gertrude  E. 
Sweeney,  Paul  B. 
Swider,  Joseph 
Sykes,  Elmer  H. 




Taft,  Philip  Henry 
Taylor,  George  A. 
Taylor,  William  Sloan 
Thorp,  Leon  A. 
Thrall,  Frederick  E. 
Tobin,  William  J. 
Thrapp,  Charles  W. 
Thrapp,  David 
Trezoglou,  Peter 
Trinks,  Frederick  C. 
Trinks,  William  H. 
Tuller,  Melvin  L. 
Turner,  Elmer  F. 
Ulitach,  Henry 
Upham,  George 
Usher,  Clarence  A. 

Wagner,  John  J. 
Walther,  Albert  H. 
Waszkiewicz,   John 
Weber,  Charles  Herman 
Weber,  Magnus  R. 
Webster,  Andrew  K. 
Webster,  Morton  J. 
Wetstein,  Ralph  S. 
Wetstone,  Max 
Wheelock,  Edward  H. 
White,  Angelo 
White,  Ernest 
White,  Joseph  A. 
Willis,  Alvin 
Winship,  Harold  S. 
Winter,  Albert  C. 

Wolfe,  George  Charles 
Wormstedt,  Arthur  C. 
Wormstedt,  Edward  F. 
Wormstedt,  William  O. 
Wroblewski,  Paul 
Yanke,  John  E. 
Yoreo,  Dominic 
Yoreo,  Oliver  A. 
Yoreo,  William 
Young,  Charles  H. 
Young,  Frederick  W. 
Young,  William  A. 
Zatryb,  Louis  A. 
Zaugg,  Ernest  A. 
Zeigler,  Hugo 


Avery,  Leverett 
Bartlett,  William 
Bean,  Walter 
Benton,  Louis  E. 
Braude,  Samuel  H. 
Carney,  Arthur  J. 
Carroll,  Robert  E. 
Chapman,  David  Buell 
Danke,  Paul 
Dehuller,  Julian 
Dowgiewicz,  Paul 
Dunn,  John  E. 
Elliott,  J.  Elmer 
Fay,  Edward 
Fisk,  Leon 
Flechsig,  Edward 
Flvnn,  William  H. 
Friedrich,  Henry 
Gilnack,  Frank 
Gilanck,  Joseph  J. 

Grous,  John  D. 
Grumbach,  Louis 
Heller,  Otto 
Herig,  Edward  J. 
Jelinek,  Joseph  H. 
Kelly,  Christopher 
Kynoch,  Jean 
LaFlamme,  Arthur  J. 
Lonsbury,  Harold  C. 
MacDonald,  Alexander 
Mannel,  Fred  O. 
Marcinowski,  Frank  P. 
Martin,  Lester  W. 
Miller  James 
Miller,  Lewis 
Moore,  Joseph 
Murphy,  Thomas 
Murray,  Francis 
Newman,  Frank 
Newmarker,  Edward  L. 

Newmarker,  Frank  A. 
O'Keefe,  Walter 
Page,  Joseph  H. 
Peaslee,  Arthur 
Pfunder,  Charles 
Price,  Walter 
Schneider,   George  L. 
Schrier,  William 
Shea,  John  F. 
Shea,  William  J. 
Simms,  Issac 
Smith,  Robert 
Stengle,  Edward  P. 
Swan,  Raymond  D. 
Welch,  Ray  J. 
Wetstone,  Murray 
Willis,  George 
Woods,  Lawrence  W. 
Young,  Edward 
Young,  John  F. 


Like  every  other  city  and  town  in  the  entire  country,  Rock- 
ville  and  the  Town  of  Vernon  went  wild  on  the  afternoon  and  eve- 
ning of  November  7,  1918,  when  it  was  reported  that  the  German 
representatives  had  signed  the  Allies'  terms  of  armistice  which 
meant  "Unconditional  Surrender."  The  men  and  women  in  the 
mills  had  scarcely  had  time  to  get  down  to  their  afternoon's  work 
when  the  bells  in  the  various  churches  and  schools  and  factories 
began  to  peal  and  the  mill-whistles  to  screech.  Soon  everybody 
had  stopped  working,  the  streets  were  thronged,  and  the  celebra- 
tion had  begun, 

Again  bonfires,  impromptu  parades,  and  singing,  and  shouting 
were  the  order  of  the  day.  Every  American  carried  a  flag.  On 
East  Main  Street  the  largest  bonfire  was  built,  and  for  hours  it 
was  replenished  by  contributions  of  packing-boxes,  crates,  wagons, 
and  carriages.  Fox  Hill  was  also  ablaze  with  a  bonfire  that  was  a 
beacon  of  victory  for  miles  around  until  far  after  midnight.  Not 
until  the  wee  hours  of  the  morning  was  the  city  quiet.  It  had  been 
a  wild  night  of  jubilation;  but  it  was  only  a  "rehearsal"! 


Word  was  received  of  the  German  signatures  about  half  past 
three  on  Monday  morning.  Mayor  Cameron  immediately  notified 
his  committees,  and  by  four  o'clock  the  city  was  duly  awakened. 
At  half  past  four,  by  the  light  of  the  street  illuminations,  a  service 
of  praise  and  thanksgiving  was  held  in  Central  Park,  perhaps  the 
most  unique  religious  service  ever  held  in  the  Town  of  Vernon. 
The  Rev.  Mr.  Mathison  announced  the  sicmmo;  of  the  Armistice,  Mr. 
A.  E.  Waite  conducted  the  singing  of  the  Doxology.  The  Rev. 
Father  Michael  H.  May,  pastor  of  St.  Bernard's  Church,  read  the 
Scripture  lesson,  the  Rev.  Mr.  Percy  E.  Thomas  offered  the  prayer, 
concluding  with  the  Lord's  Prayer  in  which  all  ferventlv  united, 
the  Rev.  James  L.  Smith,  assistant  Pastor  of  St.  Bernard's  Church, 
closed  the  service  by  requesting  all  to  join  in  the  singing  of  "Amer- 
ica," and  the  unprecedented  service  was  at  an  end! 

The  rest  of  the  day  was  spent  in  busily  arranging  for  the  great 
event  of  the  evening. 

By  half  past  eight,  the  monster  parade,  over  two  miles  in 
length  and  consisting  of  more  than  5,000  people,  including  everv 
race,  creed,  color,  and  element  in  the  town,  moved  forward  to  the 
blare  of  bands  in  united  jubilation  that  the  world  was  freed  of 
militaristic  autocracy  and  of  Kaiserism. 



in  Honor  of  Those  Who  Served  in  the 
WORLD  WAR  1914-1919 

The  City  of  Rockville  and  the  Town  of  Vernon  paid  a  just 
and  dignified  honor  to  their  soldier  dead  on  Saturday,  May  3,  1919, 
a  perfect  New  England  May  day.  In  a  parade  led  by  returned 
soldiers  and  sailors,  the  State  Guard  and  the  Boy  Scouts,  our  Grand 
Army  and  Spanish  War  Veterans,  thousands  of  school  children, 
members  of  patriotic  and  social  organizations,  and  citizens  of  all 
walks  of  life,  wended  their  way  to  the  West  District  School  grounds 
for  the  public  exercises,  where  nineteen  Ginkgo  trees  had  already 
been  planted  and  marked  with  names  of  Vernon's  nineteen  soldier 
dead.  The  trees  were  planted  on  Arbor  Day,  Friday,  May  2,  under 
the  supervision  of  Horace  A.  Deal,  Miss  J.  Alice  Maxwell's  gard- 
ener for  many  years. 

After  Mayor  John  Cameron's  address,  the  following  program 
was  carried  out: 

Recitation — "Our  Hero  Dead" Miss  Dorothy  McNeill 

Flag  Drill Pupils,  Grammar  Grades,  East  District  School 

Song- Liberty   Chorus 

Recitation  and  song — "The  Spirit  of  Arbor  Day" 

Pupils,  Room  7,  St.  Bernard's  School 

Address — "Our  Soldier  Dead" Rev.  Percy  E.  Thomas 

Song    Liberty  Chorus 

Drill  and  Song.  .Pupils,  Grammar  Grades,  West  District  School 

Address  by  Hon.  Marcus  H.  Holcomb,  Governor  of  Connecticut 

Song — "America" Sung  by  Everybody 

Benediction .Rev.  M.  H.  May 

A  short  concert  was  given  by  the  Governor's  Foot  Guard  Band 
and  the  Rockville  City  Band.  Col.  Francis  J.  Regan,  on  the  Staff  of 
Governor  Holcomb,  attended  with  the  entire  staff  as  his  guests, 
and  headed  the  parade  in  one  of  the  biggest  events  ever  held  in 
the  City. 

Rockville  City  Band  appeared  for  the  first  time  in  new  uni- 
forms, donated  by  Col.  Francis  J.  Regan  at  a  cost  of  $1,000. 

A  resolution  of  thanks  for  the  purchase  and  planting  of  the 
Ginkgo  trees  was  presented  by  City  Clerk  John  N.  Keeney,  and  was 
heartily  adopted  by  the  City  Council. 

Following  are  the  names  on  plaques  near  the  Memorial  Trees. 


There  are  four  additional  trees  without  names. 

Private  Frank  A.  Badsteubner- died  August  1,  1918 
Private  Stanley  Dobosz — died  April  20,  1918 
Private  John  T.  Kennedy— died  November  4,  1918 
Private  Harold  C.  Lounsbury — died  April  18,  1918 
Private  William  B.  Orlowsky — died  August  15,  1918 
Private  John  Rosenski — died  October  15,  1918 
Private  Carl  H.  Skibiski— died  October  14,  1918 
Private  William  Cahill — died  September  24,  1918 
Private  Leon  Fisk — died  January  27,  1918 
Private  Benjamin  Heller — died  October  7,  1918 
Private  August  Keune — died  September  24,  1918 
Private  Wm.  Kington — died  September  18,  1918 
Sergeant  John  G.  Kleindienst — died  March  21,  1919 
Private  Fred  J.  Schweitzer — died  October  1,  1918 
Private  Elmer  H.  Sykes — died  October  11,  1918 
1st  Class  Private  Elmer  F.  Turner — died  February  7,  1919 
Private  Alfred  G.  Berr — died  October  8,  1918 


The  Ginkgo  was  introduced  into  America  from  China  and 
Japan,  where  it  has  been  grown  for  centuries  in  temple  gardens. 
It  has  long  been  cultivated  in  northeastern  United  States  as  an 
ornamental  and  shade  tree,  particularly  for  street  planting.  It 
reaches  a  height  of  60  to  80  feet  and  has  a  single  erect  trunk  con- 
tinuous into  the  crown. 

The  flowers  appear  in  May;  the  male  and  female  flowers  are 
borne  on  separate  trees.  The  female  flowers  develop  into  a  stone 
fruit  with  a  malodorous,  fleshy  outer  layer,  which,  when  the  fruit 
falls,  makes  pavements  slippery  and  disagreeable.  For  that  rea- 
son, only  trees  that  bear  male  flowers  should  be  planted.  In 
autumn  the  blossoms  turn  bright  vellow  and  fall  from  the  tree 
within  a  few  days. 

The  Ginkgo  tolerates  unfavorable  city  conditions,  and  a  wide 
range  of  soil  conditions.  It  withstands  wind  and  ice  storms  and  is 
free  from  serious  pests. 


After  having  given  consideration  to  the  advisabilitv  of  form- 
ing an  organization  of  Americans  who  served  in  the  Army,  Navy 
or  Marine  Corps  during  the  World  War,  a  caucus  was  held  March 


15-17,  1919,  in  Paris.  Tentatively,  plans  were  drawn  up  and  the 
name  "American  Legion"  was  adopted.  A  second  caucus  was  held 
at  St.  Louis  May  6-10,  1919,  which  was  attended  by  ex-service 
men  from  most  of  the  States  of  the  United  States  of  America. 

On  November  11,  1919,  at  Minneapolis,  the  first  meeting  of  the 
American  Legion  as  such  was  held,  and  a  Constitution  adopted. 
In  Rockville,  Connecticut,  a  group  met  to  form  an  organization  of 
American  veterans  of  the  World  War  on  June  3,  1919.  The  meeting 
took  place  in  the  Town  Hall.  About  fifteen  men  were  present. 
The  sentiment  prevailed  that  the  local  veterans  of  the  World  War 
should  form  an  organization,  and  to  conduct  its  business  Martin 
Laubscher,  Jr.,  Edward  Newmarker  and  Thomas  Shea  were  re- 
spectively elected  to  the  offices  of  President,  Vice-President,  Sec- 
retary and  Treasurer,  the  last  two  offices  being  filled  by  the  same 

At  a  meeting  of  the  veterans  on  June  12,  1919,  it  was  decided 
that  the  local  group  apply  for  a  charter  in  the  American  Legion. 
That  was  granted  by  the  National  Headquarters.  It  bears  July  1, 
1919,  as  its  date,  and  contains  thirty  names  of  the  charter  members. 
The  Post  was  numbered  14,  which  shows  the  relative  earliness  at 
which  the  Rockville  veterans  applied  for  membership  in  the  Amer- 
ican Legion  as  a  Post. 

The  charter  was  received  by  Post  14  on  September  2,  1919. 
The  Post  decided  on  February  10,  1920,  to  take  the  name  of  the 
Post  Stanley  Dobosz  in  honor  of  the  first  local  service  man  to  fall 
in  the  World  War. 

In  addition  to  the  relief  of  needy  World  War  veterans,  they 
have  placed  grave  markers  on  all  the  graves  of  deceased  World 
War  veterans  in  this  locality  and  they  decorate  those  graves  on 
each  Decoration  Day.  They  also  hang  wreaths  on  the  World  War 
veterans'  memorial  trees  and  the  Honor  Roll  Board  on  Decoration 
Day  and  Armistice  Day. 

The  Grand  Army  Room  in  the  Town  and  Memorial  Hall  is  still 
of  interest  to  all  patriots.  Here  on  display  are  relics  permitted  by 
the  government — six  Civil  War  guns,  Springfield  rifles,  two  Civil 
War  swords  and  an  assortment  of  Civil  War  flags.  Years  ago  there 
were  three  separate  records  of  these  souvenirs  in  the  possession  of 
the  Willeke  Brothers,  John  Henry  Yost  and  Leverett  Charter.  But 
all  the  four  have  passed  on,  and  the  records  are  no  more. 

WORLD  WAR  II   (1941-1945) 


(  I  )  The  Japanese  attaek  at  Pearl  Harbor,  Hawaii,  on  Decem- 
ber 7,   1941. 

(2)  The  idea  that  it  was  our  duty  to  crush  Japanese  aggres- 
sion in  the  Far  East  and  Fascist-Nazi  aggression  in  Europe  and 


( 1 )  The  Axis  Powers  were  defeated. 

(2)  The  United  Nations  Organization  was  created  to  pro- 
mote world  peace. 



Allard,  John  L. 
Allard,  Napoleon  G. 
Allen,  Erwin 
Allen,  Matthew  P. 
Alley,  Malcolm  R. 
Ambrosi,  Bruno  E. 
Amende,  Clayton 
Amende,  Earl 
Andrews,   Roland  C. 
Andrews,  Russell  E. 
Archacki,  Frank 
Archacki,  Peter  J. 
Arn,  Frederick  A. 
Arzt,  Kenneth  A. 
Arzt,  Paul  F. 
Ashe,  William  V. 
Ashland,  Edward  L. 
Avery,   Frederick  C. 
Avery,  George  W. 
Babcock,  Frederick  H. 
Backofen,  Charles  G. 
Backofen,  Edwin  F. 
Backofen,  Ernest  P. 
Backofen,  Frederick  H. 
Backofen,  Richard  A. 
Backofen,  W.  Alan 
Babsteubner,  Arthur  F. 
Baer,  Karl  W. 

Baer,  Raymond  C. 
Bagnall,  Charles,  I. 
Baker,  Percy  W. 
Baker,   Peter  J.,   Jr. 
Baldwin,  Wilbur  J. 
Baran,  Joseph  F. 
Barbero,   Alfred  D. 
Barbero,   Anne  A. 
Barbero,  Francis  C. 
Barbero,  John  R. 
*Barrette,  Leonard  J. 
Barrows,  Edward  C. 
Barrows,  William 
Bartlett,  Nelson  W. 
Bartley,  Raymond  J. 
Baskowski,  Anthony  S. 
Baskowski,  Wm.  S. 
Bastek,  Helen  RN 
Bastek,  John  A. 
Bateman,  Walter 
Baxter,  Wilfred  H. 
Beal,  Bruce  H. 
Belanger,    John   H. 
Belanger,  Walter  J. 
Belleviau,  Raymond  J. 
Bentley,  Bernard  A. 
Bentley,  James  W. 
Berck,  Eugene  L. 

Berrett,  Leon  G. 
Berriault,  Aldie  R. 
Berriault,  Edward 
Berriault,  Norman 
Berthold,  Arthur 
Berthold,  Herbert  R. 
Berthold,  Walter  G. 
Beyo,  Edmund  V. 
Bielak,  John  J. 
Bielak,  Peter  P. 
Bielecki,  Joseph  G. 
Bielecki,  Walter 
Bienkowski,  Chester  A. 
Bik,  Russell  J. 
Bilow,  Alexander 
Binheimer,  Russell  W. 
Blake,  Charles  H. 
Blinn,  Earl  P. 
Bloniarz,  Edward  C. 
Bloniarz,  Frank  C. 
Blonstein,  Samuel  G. 
Blotnicki,  Leon  J. 
Blotnicki,  Valerian  S. 
Bochenko,  George  H. 
Bock,  John  E.,  Jr. 
Boleski,  Edward  P. 
Bonan,  Robert  A. 
Bond,  Raymond 




Booth,  John  E. 
Boothroyd,  Harry  W. 
Bordua,  Robert  E. 
Borkowski.  Bruno  J. 
Borkowski.  Chester  W. 
Borkowski,  Francis  Z, 
Boron,  John 
Borst.  Ernest 
Boron,  Stanley  W. 
Borst,   Walter 
Bosworth,  Emerson  H. 
Bouchard,  Jerry  R. 
^Boucher,  Russell 
Brauer,  Walter  E. 
Brendel,  Charleg  W.,  Jr. 
Brenneman,  John  A.,  Jr. 
Bretnahan,  George  J. 
Bresnahan,  Edward  J. 
Bronowitz,  Sol  L. 
Bronson,  Maurice  J. 
Brookes,  Leslie 
Brow,  Louis  A. 
Brown,  Edward  C. 
Brown,  Ernest  W. 
Brown,  Harvey  S. 
Brown,  William  C. 
Burke,  Francis  H,  M.D. 
Burke.  John.  Jr. 
Burke,  Leonard  R. 
Burke,  Raymond  J. 
Burke,  Russell  J. 
Bprke,  William  T. 
Burnett,  Richard  D. 
Burns,  Robert  F. 
Burns,  William  E. 
Buser,  Henry  D. 
Butler,  Henry  F. 
Bush,  Edward  H. 
Byrnes.  Edward  T. 
Byrnes,  John  K. 
Byrnes,  Frederick  W. 
Bvsczvnski.  Stanley  J. 
*Campbell,  Ralph  M. 
Capuano,  Albert  D. 
Carlson,  Edwin  R. 
Carlson,  Richard  O. 
Cebula,  Frank 
Champ,  Oliver  C. 
Champ,  Victor  X. 
Chapdelaine,  John  L. 
Chapman.  Buell  I. 
Champman.  Harold  L. 
Chapman,  Norman  B. 
Chapman.  William  R. 
Chase.  Robert  W. 
Chemistruck,  Alice 
Chemistruck,  Stephen  A 

Chessey.  Joseph  J. 
Chmielewski,  Xorbert 
Chrzanowski,  Anthony 
Chrzanowski,  Joseph 
Chrzanowski,  Stanley  H 
Ciechowski,  Aloysius 
Ciechowski,  Bernard  B. 
Ciuchta.   William 
Clark,  Robert  F. 
*Clark,  Roy  H. 
Coleman,  Malcolm  G. 
Connors,  Edward  J. 
Connors,   Stephen  H. 
CosgTove,   William  J. 
Coville.  Harry  W. 
Coville,  Lawrence 
Coville,  Orrin  A. 
Crandall.  Bardford  S. 
Cratty.  Francis  H. 
Cratty,  George  F. 
Cratty,  Robert  J. 
Cratty.  Thomas  W. 
Cronkile,  Loomis  P. 
Curry,  Beatrice  M. 
Cyrkiewicz,  Joseph  F. 
Czarnecki,   Bronislaw 
Czarnecki.  Walter  F. 
Czechura.  Walter  S. 
Czerwinski,  Joseph  L. 
Dailey.  Alice 
Dailey,  Catherine  B. 
Dailey.  Eleanor  M. 
Dalla*  Corte.  Victor  J. 
Dancosse,  Francis  J. 
Dancosse,  Wilfred 
Darcey,  John  C. 
Darcey,  Owen  A. 
Darico,  Andrew,  Jr. 
Darico,  William  M. 
Davies.  Erwin  R. 
Davis,  Erwin  E. 
Davis,  Roy  P. 
Dawkins,  Joan 
Dawkins,  John  C. 
Dawkins,  Richard  B. 
Dawkins,  Thomas  H. 
Decohaine,   Wilfred 
DeHulla.   Donald  R. 
::'DelBene,  Eugene  J. 
DelBene,  Francis  J. 
DelBene.  Howard  J. 
Denley,  Donald  F. 
Denley,  Ralph  H. 
Denson,  Gordon  A. 
DePellegrini.  Jeanne  M. 
DePellegrini,  Wm.  C. 
.  Deptula,  John  M. 

Deptula.  Lawrence  S. 
Devlin,  Elizabeth  M. 
Devlin,  James  F. 
Dick.  James  W. 
Dintsch,   Edward  M. 
Dobosz.  Anthony  P. 
Dobosz,  Frank  L. 
Dobosz,  John  A. 
Dobosz,   Peter  J. 
*Doherty.  Joseph  A. 
Doherty.  Joshua  L. 
Domain,  Donald  A. 
Dombek,   Edward  J. 
Doss,  Philip  G. 
Dowding.  Kenneth  W.,  Jr. 
Dowgiewicz,  Anthony  S. 
Dowgiewicz,  Leonard  P. 
Dowhan.  Wesley  P. 
Downes.  William  M. 
Dunfield,  Robert  E. 
Dunn,  Carlton  W. 
Dureiko.   Francis 
Edmondo,  Peter  A. 
Edmondson.  James  V. 
Edwards,  Arthur  E. 
Edwards,  Irvin  E. 
Edwards,  Thomas  W. 
Edwards,  Walter  F. 
Einsiedel,  Elwin  G. 
Elderkin,  George  D. 
Ellsworth,  Betty  R. 
Ellsworth,  Robert  M. 
Erismann,  Ernest  E. 
Erismann,  Erwin  L. 
Erismann,  Walter  H. 
Ertel,  Joseph  F. 
Ertel,  Thomas 
*Ertel,  Vincent  G. 
Ertel.  William  C  Jr. 
Pagan,  Wayne  R. 
Fahey,    Edmund  R. 
^ahey,  James  R. 
Fahey,  James  W.,  Jr. 
Fahey.  Raphael  D. 
Farr.  Henrv  A. 
Farr,  Lawrence 
Fayey,  Raymond  C. 
Farrell,  Robert  B. 
Fecteau,  Oscar  A. 
Felden,  Erwin  C. 
Ferguson.  Roy  C,  Jr. 
Ferreri.  Louis 
Fetko.  Joseph  F. 
Filip,  Charles  J. 
Filip,  Francis  C. 
Finley,  Clarence  W. 
Finley,  Clarence  W.,  Jr. 



Fisher,  Arthur  E. 
Fisk,  Douglas  H. 
Flaherty,  Leo  B. 
Flamm,  Wilton  E. 
Fleischer,  Kenneth  M. 
Fleischer,  Norman  P. 
Fleischer,  Raymond  W. 
Foley,  Frederick  J.,  Jr. 
Forbes,  Franklin  B.,  Jr. 
Forster,  George  B. 
Fox,  William  G. 
Francis,  Warren  C. 
Francis,  Wilfred 
Frey,  Leo  J. 
Friedrich,   Gordon 
Friedrich,  Herbert  H. 
Futoma,  Edward  A. 
Futoma,  Francis  S. 
Gakeler,  George  H. 
Garneski,   Stephen 
Genovesi,  Carlo 
Gerber,  Emanuel  C. 
Gerber,  Ralph  E. 
Gessay,  Andrew  J. 
Gessay.  A.  L..  D.D.S. 
Gessay,  Charles  M. 
Gessay,  Emil  J. 
Gessay,   Frederick  F. 
Gessay,  Francis  J. 
Gessay,  Louis  H.,  M.D. 
Gessay,   Stephen  S. 
Gessay,  Thomas  E. 
Giglio,  Harry  E. 
Gill,  Edward' B. 
Gill,  Louis  W. 
Gill,  Stanley  A. 
Gillich,  Ferdinand 
Gillich,  Genevieve  B. 
Gillich,  John 
Glaeser,  Alfred  W. 
Glass,  George  W. 
Gleason.  James  H. 
Godomski,  Josephus  J. 
Golemba,  Leonard  F. 
Golemba,  Joseph 
Golemba,  Stanley.  Jr. 
Gollmitzer,  John  R. 
Gollmitzer.  Joseph  F. 
Goodrich,   Gerald 
Gorczynski.  Raymond  A. 
Godzdz.   Zigmund 
Graczyk,  Henry 
Graczyk.  Joseph 
Graczyk.  Theodore  W. 
Graczyk.  Walter 
Graczvk.  William.  Jr. 
Graf.  Carl  W. 

Grant,  Harold  W. 
Green,  Arthur  P. 
Green,  George  S. 
Green,  Raymond  W. 
Gregel,  Emil  J. 
Gregus,    George 
Gregus,  Robert  J. 
Griffin,  Joseph  F. 
Groleau,  Edward 
Gronski.  Chester  S. 
Grous,  Bernard 
Grous,  Leo  A. 
Grous,    Rudolph 
Gruenig,   Paul 
Grumbach.  Robert 
Guidotti,  Alfred  E. 
Guidotti,  Richard  C. 
Gunn.  Edgar  F. 
Gunn,  Xeal  M..  Jr. 
Guzowski.   Alfred 
Gworek,  Edward  F. 
Gworek,  Joseph  P. 
Gworek.  Richard  J. 
Halchek.  Stephen 
Halloran,  John  M. 
Hamm,  Edward  G. 
Hansen.  Harry 
Harding.  Frederick  F. 
Harris,  Richard  L. 
Harris,  Robert  F. 
Harrison,  Samuel  G. 
Hartmann.  George  X. 
Hartmann.  Raymond  F. 
Hartmann.  Russell  G. 
Hebenstreit.  Clarence  M. 
Hebenstreit.  Joseph  A. 
Hebenstreit,  William  L. 
Heck.  Clarence  K. 
Heer,  Edward  G. 
Heffron.  John  F. 
Heintz.  Charles  E..  Jr. 
Hewitt.  Frederick  H. 
Hewitt.  Frank  A. 
Hewitt,  Frank  H. 
Hicton.  William  J. 
Hietela.  Theodore  A. 
Hill.  Harry  G. 
Hiller.  Russell  J. 
Hirth.  Charles  E. 
Hirth.  Theodore  A. 
Hirth.  Warren  C. 
Hoffman.  Karl  P. 
Holman.  Robert  H. 
Hopkins.  Edwin  W. 
Hopowicz.  Chester 
Hosmer.  Paul  R. 
Howard.  Chester  E. 

Howard,  Ernest  M. 

Hudson,  Henry  L. 
-Hunniford,  William,  Jr. 
Hyjek.  Edwin  R. 
Hyjek.   Rudolph 
Hyjek,  Stanley  J..  D.D.S. 
Idziak,  John  C. 
Irmischer,  Oscar  E. 
Ivanicki,  Anthony 
Ivanicki,  Edwin 
Jacobs,  Horace 
Jakiel,  John  S. 
Jalbert,  Xorman  M. 
Janton,  Edward  H. 
Janton,  Edward  X. 

*  Janton,  John  J. 
Jasek,  Stephen 
Jasion,  Chester 
Jasion,  Francis 
Jasion,  Louis  B. 
Jelinek,  Xorman  E. 
Jesanis.  Edward 
Johndrow,  George  H. 
Johndrow,  Harold  F. 
Johndrow,  W.  W..  Jr. 
Jones.  Walter  E. 
Jones,  William  W. 
Jordan.   Robert  W. 
Joyce,  Harold  L. 
Joyce,  James  L. 
Judge.  Alfred  J..  Jr. 
Kadelski.  Joseph 
Kadelski.   Matthew 
Kadelski.   Stephen 
Kadelski.  Vincent 
Kahan.  Robert  S. 
Kaminski.  Henry  J. 

*  Kaminski.  John  A. 
Kaminski.  Maximilian 
Kaminski.  Xicodem 
Kanski.   Casimer  M. 
Kanski.  Francis  A. 
Karkevich.  Peter  A. 
Kauppik,  Jerome  F. 
Kawalec.  John 
Kawalec.  Stanley  F. 
Kayan.  Edward  J. 
Kayan.  Steven  P. 
Keeping.  Douglas  L. 
Keller.  Clinton  E. 
Kellner.  Earl 
Kellner.  Erich  A. 
Kemble.  Lester  R. 
Kent.  George  E. 
Kernan.  Thomas 
Ketcham.  Stephen  E. 
Kidnev.   Marshall  J. 



King,  Robert  J. 
Kington,  Ellery  G. 
Kita,  Joseph 
Klatt,  Otto 
Kleczowski,  Albert 
Kleczkowski,  Stanley  F. 
Gleczkowski,  William 
Klette,  Immanuel  J. 
Klette,   Vernon  C. 
Kloter,  Edward  G. 
Kloter,  Ernest  B. 
Kloter,  Nole  R. 
Kloter,  Russell  R. 
Knight,  Clifford  B.,  Jr. 
Knybel,  Stanislaus  A. 
Knybel,  Tony  J. 
Knybel,  Walter  W. 
Koch,  Arthur  M. 
Koch,  Clarence  F. 
Kocher,  William  W. 
Koschwitz,  Alexander  H. 
Koschwitz,  Carl  F. 
Koslowski,  Stanley  A. 
Kowalewski,  Joseph 
Kozskowski,  John 
Kozlowski,   Adam 
Kozlowski,   Chester 
Kozlowski,  Walter  J. 
Krajewski,  Henry  M. 
Krajewski,  Herman  A. 
Krajewski,  John  S. 
Kramer,  John  L. 
Kratzke,  Russell  H. 
Krause,  Earl  H. 
Krivsky,  William  A. 
Krochenko,   Arthur 
Krupa,  Frank  G. 
Kubasek,  Edward  J. 
Kubasek,  Steve  A. 
Kubik,   Walter 
Kuch,  Joseph  A. 
Kuchenski,  Anthony  K. 
Kucz,  John  A.,  Jr. 
Kuhnly,  Kenneth  W. 
Kuhnke,  Herbert  L. 
Kulick,  George  L. 
Kulick,  John  F. 
Kulo,  Edward  T. 
Kulo,  Edwin  W. 
Kulo,  Frank 
Kulo,  John  F. 
Kunicki,  Michael 
Kunicki,  Raymond 
Kunicki,  Stanley 
Labots,  William  A. 
LaCrosse,  Felix  F. 
LaCrosse,  Francis  J. 

Lambert,  Maxwell,  Jr. 
LaMothe,  Rene  A. 
LaMothe,  Wilfred  F. 
Lanz,  Elmer  P. 
Lanz,  Howard  E. 
Lanz,  Otto  E. 
Lapointe,  Gerard  N. 
Larson,  Bernard  W. 
Lathrop,   James  F. 
Lavallee,  Ernest  H. 
Lavoie,  Henry  J. 
Layman,  Cecelia 
Layman,  Louis 
Lebeshevsky,  Saul  H. 
LeBlond,  Joseph  P. 
Lee,  Christopher  W. 
Lee,  Emil 
*Lee,  Herbert  F. 
Lee,  Raymond  C. 
Legge,  Wilbur  H. 
Lehrmitt,  Donald 
Lehrmitt,   Edwin 
Lehrmitt,  Raymond  C. 
Lemek,  Chester 
Lemek,  Frank  T. 
Lemek,  John 
Lemek,  Stanley  J. 
Lemek,  Valerian  J. 
Lemieux,  Arthur  H. 
Lentocha,  Bernard  F. 
Lentocha,  Edward  A. 
Lentocha,  George  V. 
Lentocha,  John  L. 
Lentocha,  Leonard  R. 
Lessig,  Carlton  F. 
Lessig,   Edwin   F. 
Lessig,  Robert  A. 
Lewis,  Frederick  R. 
Lebsch,  Joseph  F. 
Lippmann,  Robert  E. 
Lisk,  Burton  R. 
Lisk,  Carleton  N. 
Lisk,  Kerwin  O. 
Lisk,  Wilton  A. 
Liszewski,  Edwin  F. 
Liszewski,  Emil  F. 
Little,  Francis  H. 
Little,  Herbert 
Little,   Sterling  F. 
Loalbo,  Edward 
Loalbo,  John  M. 
Long,  Sterling 
Loos,  William 
Lotas,  John  C. 
Lotas,  Thomas 
Loverin,  Donald  B. 
Loverin,   Robert  P. 

Luba,  Joseph  L. 
Luddecke,  William  F. 
Ludwig,  Raymond  A. 
Luetjen,  Harold  F. 
Luetjen,  Herman  M. 
Luffman,   Clifford  J. 
Lugg,  Harry  H. 
Lukasiewski,  Nick  S. 
Lukasiewski,   Steve  B. 
Lukeman,  Joseph  F. 
Lukowski,  Vincent  J. 
Lusa,  Bruno 
Lusa,  Peter  J. 
Luszczki,   Stanley  M. 
Machowski,  Frederick  J. 
Machowski,  Raymond  J. 
Mack,  Francis  L. 
Mack,  John  C. 
Madden,  James  M. 
Magdefrau,  Edmund  A. 
Maguire,  Earl  J. 
Mahr,  Frederick  P. 
Mahr,  Mary  J.,  RN 
Mallon,  John  P. 
Mallon,   William  F. 
Mamuszka,  Edward  S. 
Manchuck,  Leonard  J. 
Markham,  Wilber  W. 
Marley,  James  T.,  Jr. 
Marley,  William  P. 
Marquis,  Louis  S. 
Masichuk,  Harry 
Mathewson,  Clifford  W. 
Mattis,  Bruno  M. 
Mattis,  Edward  J. 
Mattis,  Francis  J. 
Mattis,  John 
Matyia,  Stanley  C. 
May,  Guerino  G. 
Mayo,  Arthur  E. 
Mayer,  Ernest  J. 
McCarthy,  Charles  C. 
McCarthy,  James  A. 
McCormick,  George  M. 
McCusker,  Joseph  A. 
McDonald,   Elmer 
*McDonald,  John  T. 
McFarlane,  Henry  J. 
McGowan,  James  W. 
McLaughlin,   Edwin  C. 
McLaughlin,  Francis  E. 
McLaughlin,  Harold 
McLaughlin,  Henry 
McLaughlin,  Richard  L. 
McMann,  Edgar 
McNulty,  John 
:|:McNulty,  James 



Meacham,  Fred  W. 
*Meacham,  Raymond  E. 
Mead,  Harry  B. 
Meade,  Kenneth  J. 
Meade,  Russell  C. 
Meader,  Ray  L. 
Melesko,  Edward  V. 
Melesko,   John 
Menge,  Carleton  P. 
Menge,  Luther  P. 
Merk,  Randall 
Mertan,  Andrew  P. 
Mertan,  George  D. 
Merz,  Raymond  S. 
Miffitt,  Albert 
Miffitt,  Arthur  E. 
Miffitt,  Joseph  F. 
*Mikalonis,  Alphonse  R. 
^Milanese,  Clarence  W. 
Milanese,  Carlton  H. 
Miller,  Alfonso  J. 
Miller,  Donald  J. 
Miller,  Harry  A. 
Miller,  Irwin 
Miller,  Max  R. 
Miller,  Walter  J. 
-Miller,  William  M. 
Mills,  David  S. 
Milunus,  Francis  J. 
Miner,  Clarence  E. 
Miner,  Lewis  W. 
Minor,  Henry  S. 
Misailko,  Alexander 
Misaiko,    Frank 
Mitchell,  William  L. 
Mlodzinski,  Matthew  S. 
Mlodzinski,  Thaddeus  F. 
Managhan,  Charles  R. 
Managhan,  Clifton 
Managhan,  Lawrence. 
Moore,  William  R.,  Jr. 
Morin,  Edmond,  Jr. 
Moyer,  Robert  M. 
Mulka,  Charles 
Murach,   John  S. 
Murphy,  Eleanor 
Murphy,  Henry  R. 
Murphy,  Joseph  D. 
Murphy,  Robert  D. 
Murphy,  Thomas  J. 
Murphy,  Walter  J. 
Murray,  Charles  W. 
Naughton,    Patrick 
Neff,  Donald  K. 
Neff,  Donald  R. 
Neill,  Gifford  W. 
Nelson,  Ernest  E. 

Neri,   Libero 
Neumann,  Wilbur  D. 
Neupert,  Elmer  H. 
Newell,  Everett  L. 
Newell,  Robert  C. 
Nicewicz,  Chester  J. 
Nielsen,  Lester 
Nielsen,  Theodore  M. 
Niese,  Leonard  C. 
Niese,  Raymond  C. 
Niewinski,  Felix  J.,  Jr. 
Norkon,  Albert 
North,  Robert  F. 
Novak,  Frank 
Novak,  Joseph  S. 
Novak,  Stanley  P. 
Nowak,   Alfred  S. 
Nutland,  Robert  E. 
O'Brien,  James  W. 
Oleksinski,  William 
Olender,   Joseph  B. 
Olesik,  Emil  W. 
Olesik,  Michael  W. 
Olesik,  Stephen  A. 
Oliva,   Joseph 
Oliver,  Edward  P. 
Oliver,  Stephen 
Oik,  Leon  E. 
Oik,  Theodore  S. 
O'Loughlin,  John  J. 
Orlowski,  Aloysius  J. 
Orlowski,  Frederick 
Orlowski,  John  F. 
Orlowski,  John  J. 
Orlowski,  Louis  A. 
Orlowski,  Mitchell  J. 
Ortyl,  Francis  J. 
Ortyl,   Stanley  J. 
Ortyl,  Walter  N. 
Ortyl,  William  M. 
Ostien,  Harry  E. 
Ostrout,  Robert  E. 
Otto,  Wilbur  W. 
Padegimas,  Charles  F. 
Paluska,  Earl  W. 
Pasternak,  Alexander  R. 
Pasternak,  Carl  F. 
Pawelski,  Clarence  B. 
Pawluk,   Nicholas 
Peck,  Raymond  J. 
Perotti,  Peter 
Perzanowski,  Mary.  RN 
Perzanowski,  John  S. 
Pestritto,  Constance  M. 
Pfau,  Frederick 
Phelps,  Harry  J. 
Phillipp,  Allen  O. 

Phillipp,  Francis 
Phillips,  Anthony  T. 
Phillips,  Edward  J. 
Phillips,  Francis  E. 
Phillips,   John   S. 
Pichette,  Albert 
Pichette,  John 
Pichette,  Louis  J. 
Pierre,  Clarence  R. 
Pierre,  Eudore  A.  J. 
Pierce,  Robert  R. 
Pigeon,  Robert  J. 
Pinney,  Harry  W. 
Piorek,  Henry  F. 
Pitkat,  Charles  A. 
Pitkat,  Everett  C. 
Pitkat,   Francis  J. 
Pitkat,  Frederick  T. 
Pitts,    Arthur    J. 
Pliska,  William  L. 
Plummer,  Harriet,  RN 
Plummer,  Mary 
Plummer,  Willard  N. 
Pitkat,  Edward  A. 
Poehnert,  Donald  G. 
Poehnert,  W.  Edward 
Polinski,  Theodore 
Pollio,  Seraphen 
Popick,  Stephen  M. 
Poreda,  Theodore  J. 
Prachniak,  Chester  W. 
Prachniak,  Edward 
Prachniak,  Joseph 
Prachniak,  Stanislaw 
Pratt,   John  L. 
Pratt,  Robert  J. 
Pray,  George  R. 
Prelle,  Charles  E. 
Prentice,  Ernest 
Prentice,  John 
Prentiss,   Elmer 
Pruess,  Norman  J. 
Pruess,  William  J. 
Prokop,  Paul  H. 
Prutting,  Robert  D. 
Prutting,  William  C. 
Pschichholtz,  Raymond  C. 
Purnell,  Ernest  S. 
Purnell,  Kerwin  F. 
Purnell,  Nelson  K. 
Raczkowski,  Henry  J. 
Rady,  John  J  . 
Rankin,  Robert  W. 
Rankin,  Walter  J. 
Rau,  Calvin 
Rau,  Frank  W.,  Jr. 
Ray,  Andrew 



Ray,  Frederick 
Read,  Truman  W. 
Regan,  Herbert  J. 
Regan,  Thomas,  Jr. 
Regan,  Walter  C. 
Reiske,  Donald 
Reiske,  William 
Remkiewicz,  Frank 
Remkiewicz,  Jerome  S. 
Remkiewicz,  Leo  J. 
Remkiewicz,  Mitchell  J. 
Reudgen,  William  F. 
Reynolds,  R.  Lewis 
Reynolds,  Warren 
Rice,  William  E. 
Rich,  Madeline,  RN 
Richter,  William  R. 
Richard,  Donald  E. 
Richard,  John,  Jr. 
Rivenburg,  Edward 
Rivenburg,  Warren 
Rizy,  John 
Rizy,  Frank 
Rizy,   William 
Robb,  Edward  J. 
Robb,  Ralph  H. 
Robidas,  Roland  A. 
Robinson,  Samuel  E. 
Rock,  Gerard  J. 
Rodvan,  Paul 
Rogelus,  Michael  J. 
Roman,  Peter  R. 
Romeo,    John 
Ronan,  Edward  E.,  Jr. 
Rondeau,  Olin  G. 
Rosenberg,  Alfred  J. 
Rosinski,   Casimir  A. 
Rowe,  Leon  L. 
Roy,  Raymond  R. 
Royal,    Leslie   O. 
Ryan,  Howard 
Ryan,  Leroy  G. 
Sadlak,  Antoni 
Sadlak,  Francis  X. 
Sadlak,  Maximillian 
Saternis,  Michael  L. 
Satryb,  Arthur  B. 
Satryb,  William  T. 
Savitski,  Serge  P. 
Schaeffer,  Burton 
Schaeffer,   Charles  W. 
Schaeffer,  Earl  R. 
Schaeffer,  Gordon  K. 
Scheiner,  Herbert  L. 
Scherwitzky,   Marjorie 
Scheuy,  Allen  E. 
Scheuy,  Norman  B. 

Schindler,  Earl  F. 
Schlott,  Frederick  F. 
Schmalz,  Arthur  H. 
Schneider,  Albert  J. 
Schneider,  Elmer  W. 
Schneider,  Ernest  G. 
Schneider,  Norman  R. 
Schneider,  Walter  C. 
Schneider,  William,  MD 
Schortmann,  John  E. 
Schortmann,  Richard  C. 
!|:Schrumpf,  Raymond,  Jr 
Schub,  Walter 
Schumey,  John  E. 
Scibek,  Edward 
Scibek,  Stanislaw 
Scibek,  Stephen  K. 
Scibek,  William 
Sears,  Roland  C. 
Seifert,  Raymond  A. 
Sessions,  Robert  F. 
Shapera,  Harry  A. 
Shapera,    Jacob,    DDS 
Sharp,  Herbert  E. 
Shea,  John  D. 
Sherburne,  Carleton  D. 
Sherman,  Kenneth  B. 
Sherman,  Roberts 
*Siedlik,  Frank  J. 
Siedlik,  Stanley 
Siegel,  Herman  S. 
Sierakowski,  Francis  J. 
Sierakowski,  Walter  J. 
Silhavy,  Ernest  T. 
Silhavy,  Henry  E. 
Silhavy,  Louis  J. 
Skibiski,  Emmanuel  F. 
Skinner,  Donald 
Skinner,  G.  Nelson 
Skinner,  Leroy  B. 
Sklodosky,   Chester  M. 
Skoglund,  Ernest  L.,  Jr. 
Skoglund,  Leonard  E. 
Skoglianik,    Stephen  T. 
Smiraglia,  Paul  S. 
Smith,  Donald  E. 
Smith,  Edmund  C. 
Smith,  Russell  D. 
Smith,  William  F. 
Snadel,  Edward  F. 
Snell,   John  J.,   Jr. 
Snyder,  John  F.,  Jr. 
So.ika,   Edmund  S. 
Sojka,   Stephen 
Soika,  William,  Jr. 
Sokolowski,  Matthew 
Southwick,  Lawrence  O. 

Spencer,  Rexford  P. 
Spieker,  Samuel  A. 
Spiller,  Herbert  W. 
Squires,  Russell  J. 
Staklinski,  Charles  J. 
Starke,   William  C. 
Stawarz,  Edmund  J. 
Stegeman,  Lynwood 
Stein,  Arthur  P. 
Stephenson,  William  H. 
Stephenson,  James 
Stephen,  John  J. 
Steppe,  Charles  F. 
Steppe,  Joseph  W. 
Steppen,   Charles 
Sternal,  Anthony  J. 
Sternal,  John  M. 
Stiles,  William  E. 
Stone,  Elmer  E. 
Stoneman,  George  C. 
Strycharz,  Bernard  M. 
Strycharz,  Joseph 
Strycharz,  Thomas  S. 
St.  Louis,  Richard  J. 
St.  Louis,  Wilfred  H. 
Sullivan,  Chester 
*  Sullivan,  Clarence  J. 
*Sunega,  Edward  F. 
Sunega,  Joseph  T. 
Surdell,  Edwin  J. 
Sutyla,  Frank  P. 
Sutyla,  Leon 
Sweatland,  George  W. 
Sweatland,    Gilbert    P. 
Sweatland,   John 
Swiderski,   Edward 
Synal,  Francis  T.,  Jr. 
Szalontai,  Daniel  S. 
Szarek,  Thaddeus  S. 
Szvnal,  Andrew  J. 
Szynal,  Edward 
Szynal,  John  W. 
Szynal,  Joseph 
Talcott,  John  G.,  Jr. 
Tansey,  William  E. 
Tarasek,  Stanley  E. 
Taylor,   Alan  B. 
Taylor,  Woodrow 
Terrill,  Vincent  R. 
Thayer,  Winslow  B. 
Thompson,  Alberti 
Thrall,  Charles  M. 
Thrall,  Wallace  H. 
Tobin,  Raymond  S. 
Tobin,  William  S. 
Tomasek,  Francis  J. 
Tomasek,  Frederick  J. 


Tomko,  Andrew  J. 
Tompkins,  Louis  F. 
Tourtellot,  Carl  D. 
Trapp,  Charles,  Jr. 
Trapp,  George  A. 
Troughton,  Margaret  I. 
Trouton,  Luther  F. 
Tucker,  Reuben 
Tucker,  Thomas 
Tupper,  Bion  P. 
Turner,  James  S. 
Turner,  John  G. 
Tyler,  Nelson  E. 
Tyler,    Ralph 
Uhlman,  Henry  W. 
:|  Underwood,  Robert  C. 
Usher,  Alvin  J. 
Usher,  Charles  E. 
Usher,  Robert 
Uziemblo,  Edward 
Vietts,  John 
Vincent,   Robert 
Virth,  John 
Visius,  John 
Wagenett,  Frank 
Waite,  Allen  H. 
Waite,  Robert  E. 
Wandzy,  Edward  W. 
Williams,  Robert  C. 
Wandzy,  John  J. 
Wandzy,  Leon  S. 
Wandzy,  Walter 
Wasilefsky,  Anthony  G. 
Webb,  Richard  L. 
Weber,  Clarence 
Weber,  Clayton  H. 
Weber,  Edward  L. 

Weber,  Edward  R. 
Weber,  Gilbert  C. 
Weber,  Norman  A. 
Weber,  William  H. 
Weber,  William  R. 
Welles,  Gordon 
Welles,  James  W. 
Wells,  Gordon  F. 
Welti,  Clarence  W. 
Welz,  Henry  A.,  Jr. 
Welz,  William  F. 
Wendheiser,  Francis  N. 
Wendus,   Edward 
Werkhoven,  Hylke 
Werkhoven,  Theunis 
West,  Helen  K. 
West,  Herbert  A. 
West,  Horace  E. 
West,  Thomas  W. 
Wheelock,  Edward 
Whelan,  Charles 
Whelan,  Raymond  A. 
White,  William  E. 
Wicykowski,  Edward  F 
Wieliczka,  Francis  A. 
Wieliczka,  Kasimer  J. 
Wieliczka,  Stanley  T. 
Wierzchowski,  John  J. 
Willeke,  Charles  J. 
Wilhelm,   Edwin   J. 
Williams,  Burton  P. 
Williams,  Louis 
Willey,  Henry  F. 
Willis,   Clifford 
Willis,   Edward 
Wilson,  Clarence 
Wilson,  Elmer  H. 

Wilson,  Elmer  H. 
Winter,  Conrad  E. 
Wirtella,  Edwin  W. 
Wise,  Roland 
Wisnieski,  Stanley  J. 
Wnuk,  Andrew 
Wnuk,  Valer  J. 
Wocel,  Frank  L. 
Wohellebe,  Raymond  G 
Wojnar,  John  W. 
Wojtach,  Walter  A. 
Wolfersdorf,  Oscar  M. 
Wrona,  Francis  J. 
Wrona,  Marion  J. 
Wrona,  William  J. 
*Yanishewsky,   John  B. 
*Yanishewsky,  Terry 
Yoreo,  James  A. 
*Yost,  Byron  P. 
Yost,   John   H.,   Jr. 
Yost,  Walter 
Zadorozny,  Edward 
Zagora,   Bruno  A. 
Zagura,  Joseph  L. 
Zagura,  Louis  J. 
Zaresky,  Alexander 
Zashut,  Henry  B. 
Zbyk,   Anthony  J. 
Zbyk,  Francis 
*Ziebarth,  Frank  E. 
Ziegler,  John  A. 
Ziegler,   Richard  T. 
Ziemfca,  Casimer  J. 
Ziemba,  Ladimer  W. 
*Zuraw,   Edward 
Zuraw,  Henry  F. 
Zwingelstein,  Louis 


Many  women  served  actively  with  the  Armed  Forces  of  this 
Country,  the  WAACS,  the  W AVES,  the  WOWS  and  the  WAFS  as 
well  as  the  nurses  commissioned  as  officers,  all  of  whom  did  work 
formerly  done  in  wars  by  the  Army  and  Navy.  Thev  endured  the 
same  hardships  and  served  with  the  same  distinction  as  their 

There  were  other  women  working  side  by  side  with  men  in 
the  defense  plants,  doing  heavy  work  and  work  calling  for  s^eat 

Others  found  their  place  in  Civilian  Defense  as  air  raid  ward- 
ens, plane  spotters,  workers  at  report  centers,  first  aid  specialists. 


home  nurses,  motor  corps  drivers,  makers  of  surgical  dressings  and 
sellers  of  war  stamps  and  bonds. 

Some  found  it  impossible  to  do  anything  outside  their  homes, 
but  there  they  maintained  the  health  of  their  families  cooking 
nourishing  meals  with  the  food  available. 


The  Rockville  Lodge  of  Elks  is  100%  American. 

From  the  time  the  matter  of  Civilian  Defense  first  started, 
they  showed  themselves  more  than  ready  and  willing  to  cooperate 
with  the  officials  entrusted  with  the  safety  of  the  community. 

They  offered  the  use  of  their  library  on  the  northwest  corner 
of  the  club  for  a  control  room,  an  ideal  place  for  men  and  women 
who  volunteered  or  were  drafted  to  do  this  work  which  was  so 
essential.  Heat  and  light  were  supplied  by  the  Elks,  something 
which  might  otherwise  have  proved  to  be  a  great  expense  to  the 
town  and  city.  In  other  surroundings,  the  two  hours  which  were 
what  most  individuals  put  in  during  the  week  might  have  been 
much  more  unpleasant. 

Still  another  room  was  given  up  by  the  Club,  this  time  to  the 
Red  Cross  for  a  room  in  which  surgical  dressings  were  to  be  made, 
and  the  community  was  grateful.  Surgical  dressings  can  not  be 
made  in  any  place.    This  room  was  used  two  or  three  days  a  week. 


VE  Day,  long  awaited  by  millions,  came  at  last  on  Tuesday, 
May  8,  1945,  and  one  phase  of  the  global  war  which  since  Septem- 
ber 1,  1939,  had  affected  every  corner  of  the  world,  came  to  a 

The  surrender  of  Germany  was  brought  about  by  the  greatest 
cooperative  effort  the  world  has  ever  known.  Every  land,  includ- 
ing Russia  and  the  United  States  joined  forces  with  one  common 
purpose — to  bring  about  the  defeat  of  the  Nazis,  who,  ever  since 
Hitler's  accession  to  power  in  1933  had  been  bent  on  conquest. 
In  accomplishing  this  purpose,  the  Big  Three  had  invaluable  aid 
from  the  underground  movements  in  the  conquered  countries.  Not 
powerful  enough  to  carry  on  the  fight  against  the  enemy  with  arms, 
these  countries  nevertheless  had  a  spirit  which  could  not  be 


There  have  been  many  dark  days  since  the  war  began,  days 

when  it  took  courage  to  believe  that  the  mighty  war  machine  <<! 
the  Reich  could  ever  be  stopped.  Probably  the  blackest  clay  on 
the  Western  Front  came  in  May,  1910,  at  Dunkirque.  Never  were 
the  Nazis  so  near  victory  as  then.  There  were  other  dark  moments 
afterward,  even  as  late  as  December  16  of  that  year,  when  those 
at  home  wondered  anxiously  just  how  much  the  German  "Break 
through"  meant. 

The  costs  of  this  victory  were  terrific.  Whole  cities,  one  might 
almost  say  whole  countries,  were  laid  waste.  It  was  total  war. 
Buildings,  bridges,  and  cities  can  be  rebuilt  in  time.  What  can 
never  be  replaced  is  human  lives,  both  military  and  civilian.  This 
is  the  greatest  tragedy  of  all. 

The  defeat  of  Germany  was  absolute.  Unconditional  surren- 
der was  what  was  asked,  and  unconditional  surrender  was  what 
was  obtained,  not  just  to  the  United  States  and  England,  but  also 
to  Russia.    Total  war  became  total  victory. 

Joy  over  V-E  Day  in  the  United  States  was  tempered  by  the 
realization  that  there  was  still  a  major  war  to  be  won  against  an- 
other ruthless  enemy,  Japan.  Not  until  this  enemy  had  been  con- 
quered was  a  real  celebration  justified.  Peace  in  the  Pacific  as 
well  as  in  Europe. 

History  has  a  way  of  repeating  itself.  Remember  1918,  there 
was  a  premature  observance  of  the  armistice,  with  the  official  day 
coming  about  four  days  later. 

Twenty-seven  years  later,  on  Saturday,  April  28,  a  rumor  of 
Germany's  surrender  spread  and  the  Times  Square  in  New  York 
was  filled  with  excited  people.  Negotiations  were  in  progress,  but 
about  nine  days  elapsed  between  rumor  and  actuality. 

The  Armistice  in  1918  came  as  a  surprise,  whereas  V-E  Day 
had  been  anticipated  for  several  weeks. 

Woodrow  Wilson,  President  during  World  War  I,  was  able  to 
join  in  the  rejoicing  at  its  conclusion.  To  President  Franklin  D. 
Roosevelt,  during  World  War  II,  death  came  less  than  four  weeks 
before  Germany's  unconditional  surrender. 


On  Tuesday,  August  14,  1945,  at  7  p.m.  when  the  first  sen- 
tence of  the  broadcast  from  Washington  came  over  the  radio,  auto- 
mobile horns  started  blowing  in  the  center  of  the  citw  to  be  joined 


shortly  by  the  fire  whistle,  sirens,  mill  whistles  and  church  bells. 
Crowds  began  to  gatiier  in  increasing;  numbers,  while  automobiles, 
already  decorated  and  with  horns  blowing  madly,  rushed  around. 
Flags  were  collected  and  stores  that  were  open  did  a  rushing  busi- 
ness in  confetti  and  noisemakers.     Most  stores  closed  immediately. 

When  the  news  first  came,  the  City  Council  was  holding  a  reg- 
ular meeting,  and  had  probably  the  briefest  session  in  its  history, 
after  which  the  Mayor,  members  of  the  Council  and  reporters 
rushed  into  the  Police  Office  to  hear  the  announcement. 

The  parade  got  under  way  after  dark.  At  the  head  came  a 
band  made  up  of  local  musicians  from  yarious  organizations.  Next 
came  servicemen  home  on  furlough  and  veterans  of  World  War  II. 
Then  came  Co.  C  State  Guard,  the  American  Legion  and  Auxiliary, 
the  Elks  carrying  red  torches,  the  firemen  and  fire  apparatus.  Bov 
and  Girl  Scouts,  the  Red  Men  and  Pocahontas,  groups  from  the 
Red  Cross,  including  a  large  number  of  Nurses'  Aides,  boys  and 
girls  from  local  schools. 

After  the  marchers  came  automobiles  and  trucks.  A  big  bon- 
fire was  started  on  grounds  at  the  Recreation  Center.  The  cele- 
bration ended  about  2  A.M.  It  was  a  celebration  to  be  remem- 
bered. Everybody  had  been  looking  forward  to  it  for  three  years, 
eight  months  and  eight  days. 


The  Honor  Roll  was  dedicated  Sunday  afternoon,  March  7, 
1943.  The  Town  of  Vernon  was  proud.  It  was  a  worthy  symbol 
of  the  services  which  those  whose  names  are  inscribed  upon  it 
gave  to  their  town,  their  state  and  their  country. 

The  gathering  of  necessary  information  before  even  a  start 
could  be  made  represented  hours  of  painstaking  work  and  investi- 
gation on  the  part  of  the  Committee,  especially  the  secretary,  Mrs. 
Mae  D.  Chapman.  It  was  necessarv  to  secure  a  comprehensive 
list  of  names. 

The  dav  of  the  dedication  was  not  ideal.  George  Milne  had 
the  space  cleared  of  snow. 

The  Honor  Roll  will  linger  long  in  memory.  Dedication  Serv- 
ices were  held  in  Central  Park  with  Governor  Baldwin  as  main 
speaker.  He  urged  all  his  listeners  to  plant  war  gardens,  think  about 
next  winter,  and  stimulate  the  production  of  food,  thus  helping 
rationing.     Governor  Baldwin  said,  "Every  man,  woman  and  child 


in  the  community  should  be  able  to  say  about  the  war  effort,  'I 
am  taking  a  part.    I  am  helping.'  "     ( Raymond  E.  Baldwin  ) 

Gun  Captain  John  Laboc  spoke.  The  exercises  were  held 
around  the  Honor  Roll  Board  with  more  than  500  people  pres- 
ent. The  79th  Coast  Artillery  Band  played  marches  preceding  ex- 
ercises opened  at  3  p.m.  by  Chairman  of  the  Vernon  Defense  Coun- 
cil George  S.  Brookes.  First  Selectman  Ernest  Schindler  and  Mayor 
Raymond  E.  Hunt  were  introduced  and  the  latter  presided  over 
the  rest  of  the  program. 

The  invocation  was  given  by  Rev.  Eugene  Solega,  assistant 
pastor  of  St.  Joseph's  Church. 

Gun  Captain  John  Laboc,  honorably  discharged  from  service 
in  the  Navy  following  injuries  received  in  the  battle  of  the  Solo- 
mons, said  that  we  at  home  are  unmolested  because  these  men  are 
out  fighting  and  dying  for  us.  American  youth  saw  to  it  that  the 
Solomons  were  a  victoiy  for  us  and  will  see  to  it  that  Europe  is  a 
victory  for  us  also.  He  spoke  of  his  brother  who  died  a  hero's 

The  Honor  Roll  was  dedicated  by  Past  Department  Adjutant 
William  C.  Murray  of  Hartford.  The  Honor  Roll  then  had  559 
names  upon  it  and  three  gold  stars,  these  latter  opposite  the  names 
of  Vincent  Ertel,  Russell  Boucher,  and  William  Miller.  Only  those 
whose  legal  residence  is  in  the  town  of  Vernon  were  included 
among  the  names. 

The  ceremonies  concluded  with  the  benediction  by  Rev.  H.  B. 
Olmstead,  rector  of  St.  John's  Episcopal  Church. 


Although  many  of  the  boys'  names  enrolled  in  the  Armed 
Forces  were  on  the  Town  Honor  Roll  in  Central  Park,  the  residents 
of  West  End  felt  they  wanted  to  honor  their  own.  In  the  small 
park  at  the  intersection  of  Windsor  Avenue  and  Union,  they  put 
their  honor  roll. 



Barrette,  Leonard  J.  Delbene,  Eugene  J.  Kaminski,  John  A. 

Beyer,  Heinz  P.  Doherty,  Joseph  A.  Lee,  Herbert  F. 

Boucher,   Russell  Ertel,  Vincent  G.  McDonald,  John  T. 

Campbell,   Ralph  M.  Hunniford,  William  J.  McNulty,  James 

Clark,  Roy  H.  Janton,   John  J.  Meacham,  Raymond  E. 


Mikalonis,  Alphonse  B.  Siedlik,  Frank  J.  Yanishewsky,  Terry 

Milanese,  Clarence  W.  Sullivan,  Clarence  J.  Yost,  Byron  P. 

Miller,  William  M.  Underwood,  Robert  C.  Ziebarth,  Frank  E. 

Schrumpf,  Raymond,  Jr.  Yanishewsky,  John  B.  Zuraw,   Edward 



The  Town  of  Vernon  Honor  Rail  which  stood  on  the  south 
side  of  Central  Park  since  the  early  days  of  World  War  II  was 
taken  down  and  replaced  by  a  permanent  memorial  of  stone.  It 
did  not  carry  a  list  of  names,  but  had  an  appropriate  inscription. 
The  passing  years  had  completely  ruined  the  appearance  of  the 
older  one. 

The  new  Honor  Roll  "in  honor  and  memory  of  the  men  and 
women  of  the  Town  of  Vernon  who  so  gallantly  served  their  coun- 
try in  World  Wars"  was  dedicated  quietly  and  reverently  on  Satur- 
day afternoon,  February  24,  1951,  in  Central  Park. 

Taps  were  sounded  by  Max  Kabrick  and  Roy  Kabrick.  Rev. 
Forrest  Musser,  pastor  of  Union  Congregational  Church,  gave  an 
appropriate  address.  Rev.  Patrick  J.  Mahoney,  pastor  of  St.  Bern- 
ard's Catholic  Church,  pronounced  the  benediction,  which  prayer 
concluded  the  dedicatory  exercises. 


The  dedication  of  the  War  Memorial  Tower  on  Fox  Hill  took 
place  on  a  beautiful  Saturday,  August  5,  1939.  This  tower  is  dedi- 
cated to  the  Veterans  of  all  wars  from  the  Town  of  Vernon,  and 
with  the  magnificent  promenade  cost  approximately  $75,000.  The 
Work  Projects  Administration  supplied  the  labor  and  materials, 
and  the  town,  city  and  individuals  contributed. 

The  design  of  the  tower  was  suggested  in  part  by  an  ancient 
Romanesque  Church  in  France,  near  Poitiers.  Founded  nearly  a 
thousand  years  before  Columbus  discovered  America,  it  was  old 
when  the  English,  led  by  Edward  the  Black  Prince,  won  their 
famous  battle  with  the  French  in  1356  on  the  plains  nearby. 

The  architect  of  the  tower  stated:  "When  I  sketched  it  some 
years  ago  the  old  church  was  as  vigorous  as  ever." 

Fox  Hill,  located  in  Henry  Park,  was  bequeathed  to  the  city  by 
E.  Stevens  Henry. 





Music  on  the  Carillon  Bells  of  Union  Church  at  2  P.M.  and  3  P.M. 
Mrs.  Doris  Tennstedt  Lutz,  Carilloneur 

Opening  Selections  by  the  American  Legion  Band 

Singing  of  America  by  the  audience 

Invocation — Rev.  Fred  Errington, 

Department  Chaplain  of  the  American  Legion 

Dedication  of  Flags  by  Stanley  Dobosz  Post  No.  14  American 

Address  by  His  Excellency  the  Governor  Raymond  Baldwin 

Chorus  by  the  Gesang  and  Declamation  Soicety 

Dr.   George   S.   Brookes,    chairman  of  the   War  Memorial   Com- 
mittee, presented  the  keys  of  the  tower 

Acceptance  Speeches  by  Selectman  George  C.  Scheets  represent- 
ing the  Town  and  Claude  Mills,  Mayor,  representing  the  City 

Remarks  by  Vincent  Sullivan,  the  local  WPA  administrator 

Walter  B.  Chambers  of  New  York,  architect. 

Bernard  J.  Ackerman  introduced  speakers. 

Rev.  J.  Arthur  Edwards,  benediction 

The  War  Memorial  Tower  is  72  feet  high,  has  a  promenade 
220  feet  Ions:  and  its  foundation  rests  on  solid  rock.  Work  on  the 
tower  was  started  two  years  before  completing.  Native  stone  was 
used  in  its  construction.  There  is  an  observation  platform  near 
the  top  of  the  tower. 

Bronze  tablets  bearing  the  names  and  also  suitable  inscrip- 
tions of  three  branches  of  the  service,  Army,  Navy,  and  Marine 
Corps  appear  on  the  walls  of  the  arcade. 

In  1925  the  city  appropriated  $1,000  for  a  celebration  and 
some  form  of  a  memorial.  A  part  of  that  amount  was  set  aside  for 
the  purpose  of  erecting  a  permanent  form  of  tribute  to  all  our  war 
veterans.  The  Town  of  Vernon  and  the  City  of  Rockville  have  aug- 
mented that  fund  from  time  to  time.  The  idea  of  a  Tower  on  Fox 
Hill  grew  with  the  years,  the  W.P.A.  offered  to  furnish  the  neces- 
sary labor  and  part  of  the  material  and  with  the  aid  of  a  few  gen- 
erous individual  gifts,  reached  the  goal. 

It  is  a  halo  gracefully  crowning  the  head  of  the  citv. 


The  Republic  of  Korea  was  invaded  at  I  A.M.  Sunday,  June 
25,  1950,  by  the  armed  forces  of  the  People's  Democratic  Republic 
of  Korea  (Communist).  The  United  Nations  Security  Council,  in 
emergency  meeting  June  25,  declared  the  invasion  a  breach  of  the 
peace,  called  for  a  cessation  of  hostilities  and  the  withdrawal  of 
North  Korean  troops  to  the  loth  parallel,  and  asked  all  UN  mem- 
bers to  assist  in  carrying  out  this  resolution.  For,  9;  against,  0. 
The  Soviet  Union  was  absent.     Yugoslavia  abstained. 

President  Truman  ordered  General  of  the  Army  Douglas  Mac- 
Arthur  to  aid  the  South  Koreans,  and,  citing  the  threat  of  a  Com- 
munist occupation  of  Formosa,  ordered  the  7th  Fleet  to  protect 
that  island  and  prevent  Chinese  Nationalist  forces  from  attacking 
the  mainland.  The  President,  asked  by  the  U.  N.  to  name  a  com- 
mander to  all  U.  N.  forces,  chose  General  MacArthur,  July  8,  1950. 

While  the  Korean  conflict  is  "no  war"  in  the  constitutional  or 
legal  sense,  in  that  the  United  States  Congress  never  declared  war 
against  North  Korea,  it  was  generally  referred  to  as  war.  President 
Eisenhower  referred  to  it  as  "war."  It  has  also  been  referred  to 
as  "a  continuation  of  World  War  II." 


John  J.  Boucher 
Gordon  F.  Wells 
Raymond  E.  Helm 
Donald  W.  Ellis 
Warren  A.  Robbins 
Robert  I.  Gitlin 
Joseph  Piader,  Jr. 
Louis  A.  DeCarli 
Allen  E.  Burke 
Kenneth  W.  Stone 
Wesley  G.  Stager 
Lester  J.  Baum 
Albert  A.  Turgeon 
William  J.  Smith 
Omer  H.  Schook 
Leonard  A.  Raczkowski 
Robert  A.  Boucher 
Patrick  L.  Brennan 
Charles  M.   Zane 
Carleton  E.  Newberry 
James  C.  Burke 
Norman  W.  Narkon 
Walter  J.  Nowak 

John  O.  Casey 
James  J.  Regan 
Edward  A.  Synal 
Stuart  N.  Coleman 
Walter  G.  Surdel 
Albert  E.  Morganson 
Leonard  E.  Sojka 
Warren  W.  Webster 
Everett  C.  Dickinson 
James  A.  Doherty 
Monroe  Moses 
George  J.  Pitkat 
Theodore  C.  Wagner 
James  E.  Campbell 
Henry  Knybel 
Allen  M.  Kabrick 
John  F.  Drost 
Harry  A.  Wells 
Emil   Lehman 
Francis  Szynal 
Richard  F.  Lanz 
Robert  G.  Reinhold 
Ralph  G.   Greene 

Raymond  H.  Hickton 
James  O.  Lambert 
Elmer  J.  Weirs 
Edward  A.  Duell 
Henry  J.   Fortuna 
Allen  R.  Schindler 
Robert  A.  Andre 
Stanley  C.  Lukasiewski 
William  R.  Gebhardt 
Charles  W.  Hlasny 
George  L.  Kibbe 
John  E.  Luetjen 
Earl  L.  Edwards 
Wyman  H.  Griggs,  Jr. 
Allen  L.  Beaverstock 
Clifford  O.  Ward,  Jr. 
Irving  W.  Dunn,  Jr. 
Robert  W.  Pasternack 
David  S.  Kulo 
Floyd  Mayo 
Charles  E.  Clark 
Craig  K.  Zane 
Frederick  Bilow 




Philip  W.  Wilder 
George  Shelsky 
Bernard  J.  Ertel,  Jr. 
Roy  A.  Gebhardt 
Philip  Blinn 
Wilfred  J.  Boure 
John  A.  Stiebitz,  Jr. 
Roman  C.  Dzicek 
William  J.  Landry 
Edward  W.  Jesanis 
Elmer  F.  Hartenstein,  Jr. 
Walter  P.  Vogel,  Jr. 
William  L.  McCollum 
Raymond  A.  Terpilowski 
Raymond  Berriault 
Robert  B.  Rothe 
Earl  T.  Ronan 

Robert  G.  Brennan 
Edward  F.  Newmarker, 
Raymond  J.  Zira 
Norman  R.  Nicotera 
Charleton   Sperry 
Armond  F.  Hruby 
Kenneth  A.  Weber 
John  H.  Basch,  Jr. 
Kenneth  A.  Weirs 
Joseph  H.   Shea 
Herbert  R.  Sojka 
Paul  L.  Lefebyre 
Andrew  Fortuna,  Jr. 
Norris  T.  Wood 
Stanley  J.  Bloniarz 
Ronald  F.  Helm 
Edward  R.  White 

Francis  W.  Miner,  Jr. 
2  Richard  F.  Fetko 
William  J.  Wells 
Joseph  P.  Steppen 
William  R.  Meyer 
David  W.  Mead 
Everett  W.  Gerber 
Donald  L.  Coville 
Robert  G.  Mannel 
Stanley  E.  Wheeler 
Richard  D.  Loalbo 
Francis  E.   Hopowiec 
Robert  E.  Cole 
Lawrence  M.  Koblect 
Charles  T.  Brennan 
Richard  H.  Magdefrau 
Donald  C.  Hickton 


JUNE  28  TO  JULY  4,  1908 

At  a  special  town  meeting  held  on  Friday  evening,  November 

29,  1907,  in  the  Town  Hall  the  following  resolutions   authorizing 
a  centennial  celebration  were  passed: 

"Resolved — That  the  legal  voters  of  the  town  of  Vernon 
in  town  meeting  assembled,  do  hereby  declare  themselves 
in  favor  of  an  "Old  Home  Week"  celebration,  to  be  held 
during  some  week  in  the  year  1908,  which  will  appropri- 
ately mark  the  one-hundredth  anniversary  of  the  town  of 

Resolved — That  a  sum  not  to  exceed  $2,000  be  appro- 
priated from  the  town  treasury  to  be  used  for  the  expenses 
incurred  by  the  "Old  Home  Week"  celebration  during  the 
centennial  year  of  the  town,  and  that  the  town  treasurer 
be,  and  he  hereby  is  authorized  to  honor  any  and  all  or- 
ders from  the  treasurer  of  the  general  committee  for  such 
amounts  as  the  committee  shall  need  from  time  to  time, 
not  to  exceed  in  the  aggregate  the  amount  appropriated 
by  the  town. 

Resolved — That  the  city  of  Rockville  be  asked  to  do  what 
it  can  legally  do  to  co-operate  with  the  town  through  the 
mayor  and  Common  Council  in  making  the  celebration 
a  success." 

At  an  adjourned  meeting  of  the  general  centennial  committee 
in  the  Council  Chamber  on  Friday  evening,  December  27,  1907,  at 
8  o'clock,  organization  was  perfected  by  the  election  of  the  fol- 
lowing officers:  President,  Charles  Phelps;  vice-president,  Thomas 
F.  Noone;  secretary,  Joseph  C.  Hammond,  Jr.;  assistant  secretarv, 
Fred  Woodhall;  treasurer,  Parley  B.  Leonard.  Each  one  received 
a  unanimous  vote. 

After  months  of  preparation,  of  hard  work,  of  encouragement 
and  obstacles,  of  enthusiasm  and  misgivings,  those  who  had  labored 
saw  the  fruition  of  their  efforts,  and  the  town  of  Vernon  entered 
upon  its  grand  centennial  celebration. 

Doubtless  the  memories  still  freshest  with  those  who  can  look 
back  upon  the  events  of  that  week  in  June,  1908,  are  the  recollec- 



tions  of  the  decorations  which  transformed  our  streets  and  open 
spaces  into  a  stage-setting  of  more  than  theatrical  splendor.  Pri- 
vate houses,  public  buildings,  business  places,  all  contributed  a 
lavish  share  to  the  total  effect  of  beauty  and  carnival-like  gaiety. 
Never  before  had  Rockville's  natural  scenic  advantages  been  so 
utilized  and  enhanced  by  the  tasteful  touch  of  Art.  The  entire 
city  was  a  veritable  bower  of  beauty  by  day  and  a  fairy  land  by 

If  the  daylight  effects  were  inspiring,  those  of  evening  and 
night  were  thrilling.  Myriads  of  many -colored  lights,  outlining 
buildings,  festooning  streets  and  parks,  made  up  a  veritable  "blaze 
of  glory."  Especially  worthy  of  mention  were  the  brilliant  effects 
seen  about  Central  Park.  Here  were  erected  Ionian  columns,  their 
white  gracefulness  crowned  with  gilt;  and  festooned  from  pillar 
to  pillar,  shone  thousands  of  electric  bulbs.  A  pretty  effect  was 
obtained  about  the  fountain  in  Park  Place  by  twining  the  four 
lamp-posts  with  laurel. 

Memorial  Hall,  as  was  fitting,  was  made  a  chief  feature  in  the 
scheme  of  decoration,  over  the  main  entrance  shining  the  word 
"Centennial,"  flanked  on  each  side  by  the  figures  "1808"  and  "1908," 
respectively,  the  seal  of  the  state  being  also  outlined  in  bulbs  of 
red,  white,  and  blue. 

First  and  foremost  in  the  sentiments  expressed  by  the  decora- 
tions was  that  of  "Welcome."  This  heart-stirring  word  was  of 
frequent  appearance  by  day  and  night,  and  sounded  the  keynote 
of  the  whole  week's  festivities. 

Many  were  they  who  responded  to  the  home-call,  and  found 
that  "welcome"  was  indeed  the  common  salutation  of  all  home 
comers.  In  fact,  to  this  day,  we  think  and  speak  of  that  time  as 
"Old  Home  Week." 

On  the  Sunday  of  June  28th,  special  services  in  all  of  the 
churches  marked  the  preliminary  approach  of  the  real  celebration. 
Pastors  of  all  denominations  united  in  presenting  to  their  people 
some  thoughts  of  special  appropriateness  to  the  occasion.  Music, 
too,  was  a  large  factor  in  putting  the  minds  of  the  people  in  tune 
with  all  the  harmony  and  delight  manifested  within  and  without 
Without  in  any  way  slighting  the  value  and  enjoyment  of  other 
musical  performances,  it  seems  worthy  of  special  remembrance  that 
the  centennial  service  of  the  Union  Church  was  the  occasion  of 
presenting  Haydn's  magnificent  oratorio,  "The  Creation."  It  was 
a  fine  contribution  to  the  progress  of  Vernon  in  a  musical  sense. 


Perhaps  the  honor  of  inaugurating  the  celebration  proper  re- 
mains with  the  Gesang  and  Declamation  Club.  Just  before  mid- 
night of  Saturday  night,  this  association  assembled  in  Central  Park 
and  sang  "Forward  the  Light,"  and  "Village  Dear." 


SUNDAY,  JUNE  28,  1908 

Morning — Special  services  in  all  the  churches,  sermons  by  former 
pastors  and  singing  of  old-time  hymns. 

Afternoon — Rendition  of  famous  oratorio,  "The  Creation,"  in  Union 

Evening — Second  rendition  of  "The  Creation"  given  with  solo  parts 
by  distinguished  New  York  Artists,  Orchestra,  and  Chorus  of 
one  hundred  and  twenty-five  voices.  Historical  address  at  St. 
John's  Church  by  Rev.  Dr.  Samuel  Hart,  Dean  of  Berkeley 
Divinity  School  and  President  of  Connecticut  Historical  So- 
ciety. Solemn  High  Vespers  at  St.  Bernard's  Church,  with 
sermon  by  Rev.  Edward  Flannery  of  Hazardville. 


Afternoon — Opening  exercises  at  Vernon  Center  (mother  settle- 
ment of  the  town),  in  historic  Congregational  Church,  built 
in  1826,  with  following  program:  1,  Music;  2,  Invocation;  3, 
Address  of  welcome  by  Parley  B.  Leonard,  Esq.,  first  select- 
man of  the  Town  of  Vernon;  4,  Reading  of  Act  of  the  General 
Assembly  creating  the  Town  of  Vernon,  by  Francis  B.  Skinner, 
Esq.,  town  clerk;  5,  Music;  6,  Historical  Essay  by  C.  Denison 
Talcott,  Esq.;  7,  Music;  8,  Reminiscences,  by  Captain  Charles 
W.  Burpee  of  Hartford;  9,  Centennial  poem  by  Prof.  Thomas 
D.  Goodell  of  New  Haven;  10,  Music;  11,  Commemorative 
address  by  Hon.  Charles  Phelps,  President  of  Vernon  Cen- 
tennial Committee;  12,  Benediction.  Following  the  exercises 
in  the  church  there  was  a  Band  Concert  and  social  gather- 
ing  on  green  in  front  of  the  church. 

Evening — Grand  Colonial  Ball  in  Town  Hall,  under  auspices  of 
Sabra  Trumbull  Chapter,  D.  A.  R.  Grand  Ball  at  Turn  Hall. 
Opening  of  Electrical  Display  and  Illuminations;  Band  Con- 
cert; Vaudeville,  and  Midway,  on  East  Main  Street. 


Afternoon — Automobile  Hill-Climb  Contest,  Vernon  Avenue,  at  two 
o'clock,  Athletic  sports,  including  foot  races,  sack  races,  climb- 



ing  greased  pole,  etc.  Ball  game  on  Union  Street  grounds, 
Rockville  vs.  Middletown,  champions  of  Middlesex  County 
League.  Balloon  Ascension;  Band  Concert,  Vaudeville,  and 
Evening — Meeting  of  Alumni  of  Rockville  High  School,  with  grand 
reunion.  Reception  and  banquet  tendered  by  Fayette  Lodge, 
No.  69,  A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  to  W.  M.  Edward  Fuller,  Grand 
Master  of  Masons  in  Connecticut.  Ball  in  Town  Hall.  Elec- 
trical display  and  Illuminations;  Band  Concert,  Vaudeville, 
and  Midway. 


Afternoon — Fifers'  and  Drummers'  convention  and  contest.  Ball 
game  on  Union  Street  grounds,  Rockville  vs.  Bristol;  Balloon 
Ascension;  Band  Concert;  Vaudeville,  and  Midway. 

Evening — Grand  pyrotechnical  display,  furnished  by  Clarence  D. 
Holt,  former  Rockville  resident.  Band  Concert;  Midway,  and 
Vaudeville;  Electrical  Display  and  Illuminations. 


Morning — Baseball  game  on  Union  Street  grounds  between  Rock- 
ville and  Springfield  State  League  team,  (game  to  be  pre- 
ceded by  parade  of  the  players  of  the  two  teams  in  autos, 
headed  by  band). 

Afternoon — Baseball  on  Union  Street  grounds,  Rockville  vs.  Spring- 
field State  League  team.  Balloon  Ascension;  Band  Concert; 
Vaudeville,  and  Midway. 

Evening — Rockville  Baseball  Association's  reception  to  players,  en- 
tertainment, and  ball,  in  Town  Hall.  Band  Concert;  Vaude- 
ville, and  Midway;  Electrical  Display  and  Illuminations. 


Afternoon — Grand  military,  civic  and  industrial  parade,  ending 
with  Centennial  Drill  under  the  direction  of  Moritz  Kemnit- 
zer.  Band  Concert;  Balloon  Ascension;  Vaudeville,  and  Mid- 
way.    German  Entertainment  at  Turn  Hall. 

Evening — Grand  military  ball  at  Town  Hall.  German  entertain- 
ment at  Turn  Hall.  Band  Concert;  Vaudeville,  and  Midway; 
Electrical  Display  and  Illuminations. 



Morning — Parade  of  Antiques  and  Horribles.     Band  Concert. 
Afternoon — Firemen's    Muster.      Baseball,    Rockville    vs.    Stafford. 

Balloon  Ascension;  Band  Concert;  Vaudeville,  and  Midway. 
Evening — Firemen's  ball  at  Town  Hall.     Band  Concert;  Electrical 

Display    and    Illuminations;    Private    Display    of    Fireworks; 

Vaudeville,  and  Midway.    Exhibit  of  historical  relics  and  curios 

each  day.     Industrial  exhibit  each  day. 

One  of  the  most  attractive  features  each  day  was  the  appear- 
ance of  Miss  Mabel  McKinley,  niece  of  President  McKinley,  who 
at  that  time  was  a  celebrated  concert  vocal  soloist  of  New  York. 



The  celebration  on  Thursday,  Friday,  and  Saturday,  Septem- 
ber 12,  13,  14,  1935,  was  highly  successful.  Although  the  skv  was 
clouded,  there  was  no  rain.  The  streets  were  beautifully  decorated, 
and  business  houses  and  homes  displayed  flags  and  bunting.  Hun- 
dreds of  colored  electric  lights  illumined  the  sky.  People.  L0,000 
of  them,  enjoyed  the  entire  program.  The  ball  on  Thursday  night 
was  delightful;  the  Historic  Exhibit  and  the  Flower  Show  were  of 
high  order  and  added  much  to  the  celebration;  the  Pageants  bv  the 
school  children  presented  in  the  afternoon  and  evening  were  well 
done;  and  Saturday's  program,  consisting  of  sports  in  the  morn- 
ing, the  mammoth  parade  in  the  afternoon,  and  the  dance  at  night 
marked  a  wonderful  celebration. 


General  Chairman  Mayor  George  Scheets 

Vice-chairman  First  Selectman  Francis  J.  Prichard 

Secretary  Lewis  Chapman 

Treasurer  Maurice  Spurring 

The  General  Committee  also  consists  of  a  representative  from 
each  church,  lodge,  fraternity,  club,  and  other  organizations  in 
both  Rockville  and  Vernon,  as  well  as  interested  citizens. 


Thursday  Evening,  September  12 

Entertainment  from  8  to  9  P.M. 
Dancing  9  P.M.  Until  Midnight  Music  by  Kabrick's  Orchestra 


Selection  Orchestra 

Solo  Caroline  Milanese   West 

Selections  Schubert  Trio 

Gavotte  Louis  XIII  by  Sinding 

Believe  Me  if  All  Those  Endearing  Charms       by  Moore 

Pizzicato  Gavotte  by  Pache 

Raymond   Kunicki,    Violin;    Henry   Butler,    Cello;'  Mariette 

N.  Fitch,  Piano 

Violin  Solo — "Hejre  Kati"  by  Hubay  Raymond  Kunicki 





Episodes  from  Colonial  Connecticut 

Sykes  Auditorium  3  P.M. 

Presented  by  pupils  of  Public  Schools,  including  members  of  the 

1935  graduating  classes  of  the  East  and  Maple  Street  Schools 



Historic  Characters: 

Noah  Webster  Roger  Sherman 

Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  Israel  Putnam 

Founding  of  Hartford — 1636 

Founding  of  New  Haven — 1638 

Granting  of  Connecticut  Charter  by  King  Charles  II  in  1662 

Andros  and  the  Charter — 1687 

Interlude — The  Yankee  Peddler 

Deborah  Campion,  dispatch  bearer — 1775 

Wethersfield  Conference 


For  those  unable  to  enter  the  Sykes  Auditorium,  because  of 
the  large  attendance,  there  was  an  overflow  performance  at  the  Old 
High  School  Assembly  room,  presented  by  children  from  the  Maple 
Street  and  East  Schools. 



Friday  Evening,  September  13 

at  8  P.M. 

Rev.  George  T.  Sinnott,  Pastor  St.  Bernard's  Catholic  Church 



Instrumental  Selection — Marche  Militaire  Schubert 

Schubert  Trio 
Vocal  Selections — 

a.  Bridal  Chorus  from   "The  Rose  Maiden"  Cowen 

b.  Old  Folks  at  Home  Foster-Harris 

The  Treblers 
Introductory  Remarks  Rev.  George  T.  Sinnott 

Invocation  Rev.  H.  B.  Olmstead 

Pastor  St.  John's  Episcopal  Church 
Instrumental  Selection — Caratina  Raff 

Schubert  Trio 



City  of  Rockville  Mayor  George  Scheets 

Town  of  Vernon  First  Selectman  Francis  J.  Prichard 

Vocal  Selections — 

a.  O — He  Carita  De  Koven 

b.  By  the  Bend  of  the  River  Edwards-Hemstreet 

The  Treblers 
Address  C.  Denison  Talcott,  former  State  Senator 

Vocal  Selection — Cast  Thy  Burden  Hemblen 

The  Treblers 
Address — 'Why   Celebrate   the   Tercentenary" 

Dr.  Robert  Demming,  State  Board  of  Education 
Instrumental  Selection — Hungarian  Dance  No.  6  Brahms 

Schubert  Trio 
Benediction  Rev.  Milton  Liebe 

Pastor  Killingworth  Congregational  Church 

The  Ladies'  Chorus,  known  as  "The  Treblers"  is  under  the  di- 
rection of  Miss  Edith  F.  Ransom,  Instructor  of  voice  and  piano. 



9:00  A.M.  Tennis.     South  Manchester  vs.  Rockville. 

9:30  A.M.  Baseball.     South  Manchester  vs.  Rockville. 
10:00  A.M.  Start  of  Cross  Country  Race.     Finish  in  front  of 

Board  Walk. 
10:00  A.M.  Track  Events.    Main  Street,  Opposite  Board  Walk. 


The  parade  started  at  2  p.m.  with  Eight  or  More  Divisions, 
Bands,  Floats,  Marchers  and  organizations.  Most  colorful  parade 
in  history  of  city. 


There  was  a  collection  of  old  china,  glassware,  pewter,  books, 
samplers  and  similar  objects  of  unusual  interest  and  historical  value 
at  the  library.  The  library  was  opened  from  10  A.M.  to  9  P.M.  on 
each  of  the  three  days  of  the  celebration. 


Under  Auspices  of  Rockville  Garden  Club 
Friday  and  Saturday,  September  13,  14 
Fitch  Block,  Union  Sheet 
Extensive  exhibits  of  fall  flowers  by  members  of  the  Garden 
Club,  with  close  to  100  members  exhibiting. 



Title  Page 

These  Have  Brought  Us  Renown 395 

In  the  World  of  Music 427 

In  the  World  of  Sports  and  Entertainment 436 

Poem  Commemoration 444 

Title  Page 

Charles  Phelps    393 

George  Maxwell    394 

Francis  T.  Maxwell 394 

George  Sykes  394 

E.    Stevens    Henry 394 

The  Maxwell  Mansion 422 

Hammond  Silver  Drum  Corps 430 

First  Athletic  Field  on  Orchard  Street 435 









^-     '*•*■ 

v  iSk. 




The  important  contribution  of  the  small  town  of  Vernon  to 
the  bis;  outside  world  is  reallv  astonishing.  Some  of  those  who 
have  brought  us  renown  bv  their  achievements  were  born  here 
in  humble  homes;  others  passing  through  the  Loom  Citv  received 
instruction  in  our  schools,  encouraging  counsel  from  men  of  genius, 
and  the  friendlv  interest  of  a  verv  limited  population. 

This  is  a  partial  list: 

Martin  Kellogg 

President  of  the  Universitv  of  California 

George  Edwin  Mac-Lean 

President  of  the  L'niversitv  of  Nebraska 
President  of  the  Universitv  of  Iowa 

Thomas  Dwight  Goodell 

Professor  of  Greek  at  Yale  Universitv 

Ebenezer  Kellogg 

Professor  and  Librarian  at  Williams  College 

James  J.  Gilfillan 

Treasurer  of  the  United  States 

Edward  James  Gavegan 

Justice  of  Supreme  Court  of  Xew  York 

Dwight  Loomis 

Connecticut  Jurist  and  Congressman 

Augustine  Loner gan 

United  States  Senator 

Lucien  Francis  Burpee 

Colonel  and  Judge  Advocate 

Harold  Francis  Loomis 

Brigadier  General  L'nited  States  Armv 

Charles  YVinslow  Burpee 
Connecticut  Historian 



Charles  Phelps 

First  Attorney  General  of  Connecticut 

Cora  Elizabeth  Lutz 

Authority  on  Medieval  Literature 

William  Churchill  Hammond 
Organist  and  Choir  Master 

Everett  J.  Lake 

Governor  of  the  State 

Isaac  Merritt  Agard 
College  President 

Walter  Raymond  Agard 

Professor  of  Classics,  University  of  Wisconsin 

Lvman  Twining  Tingier 
Lieutenant  Governor 

D wight  Marcy 

Clerk  of  Senate  and  Speaker  of  the  House 

George  Talcott 

Bank  President  and  Trial  Justice 

Frederick  Swindells 

Manufacturer  and  Philanthropist 

Benezet  Hough  Bill 
State's  Attorney 

Lebbeus  Bissell 

Business  Genius 

E.  Stevens  Henry 

State  Treasurer  and  Congressman 

The  Maxwells 

Four  Brothers  Sykes 

Antoni  N.  Sadlak 


John  W.  Middleton 

Brigadier  General,  United  States  Army 

Carl  McKinley 

Organist  and  Composer 



Martin  Kellogg  was  born  in  Vernon,  Connecticut,  March  5, 
1828.  His  father,  Allyn  Kellogg,  was  for  fifty  years  deacon  of 
Vernon  Congregational  Church,  a  farmer,  and  Representative  in 
the  Connecticut  Legislature. 

Martin  was  graduated  from  Yale  University  in  1850  as  the 
most  distinguished  man  in  his  class  and  later  studied  theology  at 
Andover  and  Union  Seminaries.  He  went  to  California  in  1855 
as  a  representative  of  the  American  Home  Missionarv  Society  of 
New  York  City.  He  was  a  minister  for  a  period  at  Shasta  City, 
outfitting  point  for  the  gold  miners  of  the  Coast  Range  Mountains. 
Later,  he  became  pastor  of  the  Congregational  Church  at  Grass 
Valley  in  the  Mother  Lode  country. 

The  University  of  California  was  chartered  on  March  23,  1868. 
Under  the  terms  of  the  Charter  it  took  over  the  College  of  Cali- 
fornia. On  November  10,  1868,  The  Regents  of  the  new  Universitv 
of  California  named  Professor  Kellogg  to  the  chair  of  Ancient  Lan- 
guages. He  thus  became  the  second  professor  named  on  the  fac- 
ulty of  the  University  of  California.  In  the  spring  of  1885,  the 
faculty  of  the  University  elected  Professor  Kellogg  as  chairman 
of  the  faculty  and  he  served  as  President  without  title  until  Janu- 
ary, 1886.  On  October  1,  1890,  the  Academic  Senate  of  the  Uni- 
versity elected  Professor  Kellogg  as  President  pro  tempore.  In  the 
same  month,  The  Regents  of  the  University,  recognizing  the  sig- 
nificance of  this  choice  bv  the  facultv,  requested  Professor  Kellogg 
to  carry  on  again  the  duties  of  the  presidency  and  to  occupv  a  seat 
on  The  Board  of  Regents.  On  January  24,  1893,  the  Regents  fur- 
ther indicated  their  concurrence  with  the  opinion  of  the  facultv  bv 
appointing  him  as  President  of  the  University. 

On  September  14,  1898,  President  Kellogg  submitted  his  res- 
ignation to  the  Board  of  Regents  to  take  effect  on  March  23,  1899. 
In  accepting  this  resignation,  The  Regents  resolved  "there  has  been 
no  greater  force  toward  higher  ideals  of  character  and  scholarship 
in  all  the  historv  of  this  State  than  President  Kelk>o;o;."  He  was 
promptly  named  Emeritus  Professor  of  Latin.  At  commencement 
in  1899,  the  faculty  of  the  University  paid  the  following  tribute 
to  the  retiring  President  Kellogg:  "You,  sir,  are  one  of  the  very  few 
of  us  still  remaining  who  have  been  associated  with  the  University 

and  assisted  in  its  counsel  from  its  besfinnincr.     In  addition  to  this. 

o  o 

for  nine  years  as  its  President,  you  have  determined  its  policv  and 
guided  its  course.  ...    It  is  impossible  not  to  attribute  the  phenom- 


enal  growth  of  the  University  in  all  directions  to  a  rare  combination 
and  even  balance  of  many  qualities,  intellectual  and  moral,  con- 
ducive to  wise  administration.  Among  these  qualities  especially 
affecting  our  relations  to  you  and  endearing  you  to  us,  but  also 
necessary  to  the  cooperative  activity  of  the  University  as  a  whole, 
we  cannot  fail  to  recognize  a  clearness  of  insight,  a  trueness  of 
judgment  untainted  by  vanity  or  self-seeking,  a  modesty  which  is 
not  ashamed  to  seek  counsel  and  knows  well  how  to  use  it  whether 
in  confirming  or  modifying  personal  judgment.  It  is  due  to  this 
chiefly  that  the  faculty,  the  academic  council,  the  students,  the 
whole  University,  have  become  unified  into  a  living,  growing, 
healthy  organism,  all  parts  acting  together  harmoniously  for  the 
good  of  the  whole." 

Dr.  David  Starr  Jordan,  while  President  of  Stanford  University 
said,  "If  I  could  do  it,  I  would  fill  every  place  in  my  faculty  with 
President  Kellogg  multiplied  over  as  many  times  as  I  have  places." 
He  said  further,  "The  spirit  and  character  of  a  man  like  President 
Kellogg  have  to  be  born  in  him  and  are  the  rarest  and  most  valu- 
able possessions  a  university  can  have.  Any  university  can  find  all 
the  specialists  it  needs;  but  it  may  be  thankful  if  by  raking  the 
country  over,  it  can  get  even  a  few  men  of  that  inborn  spirit;  and 
when  it  has  them  all  these  things  shall  be  added  unto  it." 

As  President  and  Professor,  Mr.  Kellogg  served  43  years  on  the 
staff  of  the  College  of  California  and  the  University  of  California. 
He  died  on  August  26,  1903. 


George  Edwin  MacLean  was  born  in  Rockville  on  August  31, 
1850,  the  son  of  Edwin  W.  and  Julia  Ladd  MacLean.  His  Bachelor 
of  Aits  degree  from  Williams  College  in  1871  was  the  first  of  many 
scholastic  attainments.  Other  degrees  earned  here  and  abroad 
make  an  imposing  list:  A.M.,  1874  and  B.D.,  Yale,  1874;  Ph.D., 
Univ.  of  Leipzig,  1883;  Univ.  of  Berlin,  Univ.  of  Oxford,  1882; 
LL.D.,  Williams,  1895;  Syracuse  University,  1909. 

He  married  Clara  S.  Taylor  of  Great  Barrington,  Massachu- 
setts, May  20,  1874.  Ordained  into  the  ministry  in  that  same  year 
in  New  Lebanon,  New  York,  by  the  Congregational  Council  and 
the  Presbyterian  Presbytery,  Mr.  MacLean  became  pastor  of  the 
Memorial  Presbyterian  Church  of  Troy,  New  York,  where  he  re- 
mained until  1881. 


After  studying  for  two  years  in  Europe,  he  answered  the  call 
of  scholarship,  and  became  professor  of  English  language  and  lit- 
erature at  the  University  of  Minnesota,  a  position  he  held  for 
twelve  years  until  called  to  be  the  Chancellor  of  the  University  of 
Nebraska  in  1895.  Evangelist  E.  Payson  Hammond,  of  Vernon, 
Connecticut,  visited  the  University  during  the  Chancellorship  of 
George  E.  MacLean,  and  addressed  the  student  body.  After  four 
years,  MacLean  became  the  President  of  the  State  University  of 
Iowa  and  occupied  that  important  chair  for  twelve  years. 

It  was  during  his  work  at  these  American  Universities  that  he 
began  his  career  of  writing.  His  published  books  show  his  in- 
terests: "A  Chart  of  English  Literature,"  1892;  "Old  and  Middle 
English  Reader,"  1893;  "A  Decade  of  Development  in  American 
State  Universities,"  1898;  "The  Next  Stage  in  the  Educational  De- 
velopment of  Nebraska,"  1898. 

Dr.  MacLean  died  on  May  5,  1938,  in  his  eighty-eighth  year. 

George  Edwin  MacLean,  Educator,  born  in  Rockville,  Connecticut, 
August  31,  1850. 

Yale  1874,  Ph.D.  Professor  English  Language  and  Literature 
at  University  of  Minnesota,  1883-1895 

President  of  University  of  Nebraska,  1895-1899;  President 
State  University  of  Iowa,  1899-1911 

United  States  specialist  in  Higher  Education,  1913 

Visiting  Universities  and  Colleges  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland, 
1914-1916,  director  for  Universities  and  Colleges  in  the 
United  Kingdom 

Decorated  Officer  de  l'lnstruction  Publique  (France) 

Author — 

A  Chart  of  English  Literature  with  References,  1892 

Old  and  Middle  English  Reader  with  Introduction,  Notes 
and  Glossary,  1893 

A  Decade  of  Development  in  American  State  Universities, 

Present  Standards  of  Higher  Education  in  U.  S.,  1913 

Studies  in  Higher  Education  in  England  and  Scotland, 
with  suggestions  for  Universities  and  Colleges  in 
United  States,  1916 


Similar  Studies  in  Ireland  and  Wales,  1917 

Opportunities  for  Graduate  Study  in  Great  Britain,  1921 

The  New  International  Era,  1923 

History  of  Great  Barrington,  Massachusetts,  1928 
Addresses,  Articles,  Reviews 

George  Edwin  MacLean  died  May  5,  1938. 


Thomas  Dwight  Goodell  was  born  in  Ellington,  Connecticut, 
November  8,  1854,  the  son  of  Francis  and  Sophia  Louise  (Burpee) 
Goodell.  He  was  fitted  for  college  at  the  Rockville  (Conn.)  High 
School,  and  graduated  as  a  member  of  the  first  class  in  1873.  He 
was  awarded  the  Hurlbut  Scholarship  in  his  Freshman  year  at 
Yale,  received  a  third  prize  in  English  composition  as  a  Sophomore, 
in  his  Junior  year  was  given  a  first  prize  in  the  Winthrop  competi- 
tion and  a  second  prize  at  the  Junior  Exhibition,  and  divided  the 
Scott  Prize,  and  in  Senior  year  received  a  College  Premium  in 
English  composition.  His  appointments  were  a  philosophical  ora- 
tion in  Junior  year  and  a  high  oration  at  Commencement.  He  was 
a  member  of  Phi  Beta  Kappa.     He  graduated  in  1877. 

His  marriage  took  place  in  Rockville,  May  9,  1878,  to  Julia 
Harriet,  daughter  of  William  Wiltshire  and  Julia  Ann  (Stebbins) 
Andross.    They  had  no  children. 

He  had  taught  school  in  North  Coventry  and  in  Rockville  be- 
fore entering  Yale,  and  upon  graduation  accepted  a  position  as 
classical  teacher  in  the  grammar  school  section  of  the  Hartford 
Public  High  School,  where  he  remained  for  eleven  years,  carrying 
on  at  the  same  time  extra  work  in  the  Yale  Graduate  School,  for 
which  he  received  the  degree  of  Ph.D.  in  1884.  In  1886  he  went 
abroad  for  fourteen  months,  matriculating  at  the  University  of 
Berlin  and  traveling  in  Greece  and  Italy.  He  was  appointed  as- 
sistant professor  of  Greek  at  Yale  in  1888.  In  1893  he  was  pro- 
moted to  a  full  professorship.  He  became  senior  professor  of  Greek 
in  1909,  and  from  1912  was  Lampson  professor  of  the  Greek  lan- 
guage and  literature. 

He  served  as  professor  of  the  Greek  language  and  literature 
at  the  American  School  of  Classical  Studies  at  Athens  during  1894- 
95,  having  been  given  a  year's  leave  of  absence  by  the  University. 


He  wrote  the  Greek  Festival  Hymn  for  the  Yale  Bicentennial  Cele- 
bration, the  music  for  which  was  composed  by  the  late  Horatio 
Parker,  dean  of  the  School  of  Music.  Professor  Goodell  published 
many  books,  among  them  being  "The  Greek  in  English;"  "First 
Lessons  in  Greek,  with  Special  Reference  to  the  Etymology  of 
English  Words  of  Greek  Origin,"  1886  (revised  and  enlarged,  1889); 
"Greek  Lessons,"  1892;  "Chapters  on  Greek  Metric,"  Yale  Bicen- 
tennial Publications,  1901;  "A  School  Grammar  of  Attic  Greek," 
1902;  "Greek  Lessons  for  Beginners"  (with  Frederick  S.  Morrison, 
'80),  1903;  and  "Athenian  Tragedy:  A  Study  in  Popular  Art,"  1920. 
A  volume  of  poems,  entitled  "Commemoration,"  was  published 
through  the  Yale  University  Press  in  June,  1921.  Professor  Goodell 
contributed  numerous  articles  and  monographs  to  magazines  and 
philological  journals.  He  was  a  Congregationalist,  and  attended 
the  College  Church.  He  served  as  vice-president  of  the  American 
Philological  Association  from  1909  to  1911,  and  as  its  president 
during  1911-12,  and  was  also  a  member  of  the  Archaeological  In- 
stitute of  America,  the  Connecticut  Academy  of  Sciences,  the  Class- 
ical Association  (British),  and  the  Advisory  Council  of  the  Simpli- 
fied Spelling  Board. 

He  died  at  his  home  in  New  Haven,  July  7,  1920,  after  a  brief 

Since  his  death  Mrs.  Goodell  has  given  to  the  Archaeological 
Museum  of  Phelps  Hall  a  valuable  group  of  Greek  and  Roman 
antiquities  collected  by  Professor  Goodell. 


Ebenezer  Kellogg  was  born  in  Vernon,  Connecticut,  on  Oc- 
tober 25,  1789,  and  was  graduated  from  Yale  College  in  1810.  For 
two  years  he  taught  at  an  Academy  in  New  London,  Connecticut, 
where  he  found  his  work  both  interesting  and  stimulating.  How- 
ever, he  never  seemed  to  be  satisfied  with  the  accomplishments 
which  he  was  making.  Slowly  there  came  an  inward  urge  to  enter 
the  ministry,  and  he  could  not  resist  the  call.  He  entered  the 
Andover  Theological  Seminary  in  the  fall  of  1812,  where  he  re- 
mained for  three  years  studying  and  struggling  with  himself  over 
his  future.  Kellogg  was  extremely  pious,  but  during  the  three 
years  at  Andover  the  call  to  the  ministry  became  less  and  less  a 
divine  urge,  and  by  1815  he  had  decided  that  perhaps  it  was  not 
the  Lord's  will  after  all  for  him  to  preach  the  gospel. 


His  love  for  teaching  was  still  alive,  and  when  he  was  offered 
a  professorship  of  languages  at  Williams  College  in  the  fall  of 
1815,  he  accepted  immediately.  Though  he  had  turned  his  back 
on  the  ministry,  he  carried  as  much  religious  zeal  and  enthusiasm 
with  him  to  Williams  College  as  he  could  have  carried  into  the 
pulpit.  He  was  librarian  from  1815  to  1845,  and  Williams  College 
was  ever  grateful  for  his  metriculous  work. 

When  the  college  was  in  circumstances  of  embarrassment  he 
never  hesitated  to  make  sacrifices,  to  live  on  a  small  salary  with- 
out complaint,  or  to  do  an  amount  of  miscellaneous  labor  which 
few  men  would  have  been  willing  to  undertake.  He  originated 
the  idea  of  the  college  garden,  and  purchased  the  ground  and  gave 
it  to  the  college.  It  is  now  a  stretch  of  lawn.  Other  buildings  are 
around  its  borders,  but  none  on  the  plot  itself. 

He  roomed  for  some  time  in  college,  occupying  the  northeast 
corner  room  in  the  Old  West  College,  second  story.  It  was  his 
practice  to  call  at  all  the  rooms  in  that  building  as  often  as  once 
a  day,  to  see  that  the  students  were  in  their  rooms  and  attending 
to  their  studies.    He  was  a  man  of  great  particularity. 

In  1816,  Kellogg's  health  declined,  and  for  many  months  he 
was  quite  ill.  He  had  consumption  and  went  to  South  Carolina. 
He  left  Charleston  on  December  16,  1817  for  Savannah.  He  re- 
sumed his  teaching  duties  at  Williams  College  in  the  fall  of  1818, 
where  he  taught  until  his  death  in  October,  1846,  at  the  age  of  57. 
His  trip  to  South  Carolina  and  Georgia  in  1817-18  perhaps  length- 
ened his  life  by  several  years. 

Mark  Hopkins,  then  President  of  Williams  College,  delivered 
the  funeral  sermon  giving  a  glowing  tribute  to  the  faithfulness 
of  Professor  Kellogg. 


In  the  year  1856  a  young  man  of  Scotch  descent,  newly  grad- 
uated from  Williams  College,  came  to  Rockville  to  read  law  in  the 
office  of  Congressman  Dwight  Loomis,  located  on  Park  Street  on 
the  site  of  the  present  Sykes  School.  Judge  Loomis  was  then  Rep- 
resentative from  the  First  Congressional  District,  comprising,  at 
that  time,  Hartford  and  Tolland  Counties.  James  J.  Gilfillan,  born 
in  Belchertown,  Massachusetts,  in  1836,  soon  proved  himself  an 
ambitious  young  man.  In  spite  of  his  youth,  he  founded  and  edited 
a  political  weekly  paper,  which  he  named  the  Tolland  County  Re- 


publican,  the  first  newspaper  printed  in  Rockville.  The  office  of 
this  paper  was  located  on  Park  Street,  opposite  the  Sykes  School. 
During  his  six  years  in  Rockville,  he  so  impressed  Judge  Loomis 
with  his  efficient  honesty  that  the  Rockville  Congressman  helped 
him  to  obtain  an  appointment  as  a  temporary  clerk  in  the  office  of 
the  Treasurer  of  the  United  States.  Assisted  by  two  Rockville 
people,  Judge  Loomis  and  Miss  Josephine  Thomas,  whom  he  mar- 
ried, Gilfillan  was  well  started  on  his  way  to  be  Treasurer  of  the 
United  States. 

An  obituary  notice  at  the  time  of  Mr.  Gilfillan's  death  recalls 
a  day  when  travel  across  the  continent  was  an  arduous  and  dan- 
gerous undertaking: 

"Among  his  first  duties  as  clerk  he  was  to  take  $4,000,- 
000.  in  greenbacks  to  the  assistant  treasurer  at  San  Francis- 
co and  bring  back  to  Washington  $3,000,000.  in  gold  coin. 
It  was  the  period  of  train  robbing  and  the  young  clerk  had 
to  go  with  an  escort  of  army  officers  west  of  Omaha.  The 
trip  was  made  in  a  parlor  car  in  which  the  seats  were  re- 
moved and  beds  substituted." 

Inasmuch  as  the  first  transcontinental  railroad  was  not  completed 
until  the  year  1869,  it  is  likely  that  part  of  the  trip  was  by  stage 
coach  or  some  similarly  dangerous  means  of  travel. 

For  four  years,  James  Gilfillan  served  as  a  temporary  clerk, 
and  was  then  promoted  to  clerk.  Further  promotions  came  regu- 
larly every  two  years  for  this  industrious  young  man,  until  in  1875 
he  was  Cashier  with  a  salary  of  $3,800. 

James  Abram  Garfield  was  influential  in  this  rapid  and  steady 
promotion  of  Mr.  Gilfillan.  The  Tolland  County  Journal  is  the 
source  for  an  interesting  story  about  Garfield,  who  later  became 
President  of  the  United  States.  Under  the  date  of  April  15,  1881, 
the  Journal  records: 

"When  President  Garfield  was  a  representative  in 
Congress  years  back,  (he  had  just  resigned  as  major-gen- 
eral in  order  to  enter  Congress)  he  called  in  on  United 
States  Treasurer  Spinner  one  day  and  said:  "General 
Spinner,  do  you  know  that  in  one  of  the  lower  rooms  of 
this  building  there  is  at  work  an  old  classmate  of  mine? 
He  was  wonderfully  apt  at  Williams  College.  He  could 
beat  me  at  my  lessons  and  is  quick  and  honest." 


"What  is  his  name?" 

"James  Gilfillan." 

Whereupon  Treasurer  Spinner  sent  for  him,  made  ar- 
rangements to  promote  him   and  advanced  him  rapidly. 

In  1877,  James  J.  Gilfillan  became  Treasurer  of  the  United 
States,  succeeding  A.  U.  Wyman  to  that  responsible  position.  In- 
teresting details  of  how  Mr.  Gilfillan  obtained  his  promotion  to 
Treasurer  are  related  in  the  Washington  Evening  Star  of  May  24, 

"Some  days  ago  Treasurer  Wyman  went  to  the  room 
of  Secretary  Sherman  and  formally  tendered  his  resigna- 
tion as  Treasurer  of  the  United  States.  Secretary  Sherman, 
much  surprised,  declined  to  accept  it,  stating  that  his  serv- 
ices as  treasurer  were  appreciated,  and  that  he  was  too 
good  a  public  officer  to  leave  the  service  of  the  govern- 
ment. Within  a  day  or  two  Mr.  Wyman  again  pressed 
upon  Secretary  Sherman  his  resignation  and  again  its  ac- 
ceptance was  declined.  Yesterday  Mr.  Wyman  stated  to 
Secretary  Sherman  that  in  the  present  condition  of  his 
health  he  could  not  continue  to  hold  the  office  of  treas- 
urer, as  its  manifold  responsibilities  were  too  trying  for 
one  not  in  possession  of  full  physical  vigor.  He  told  Mr. 
Sherman  that  in  view  of  the  duties  being  less  responsible, 
he  would  accept  the  place  of  assistant  treasurer,  and  rec- 
ommended that  James  Gilfillan,  the  incumbent  of  the  lat- 
ter position,  be  promoted  to  the  treasurership. 

The  commission  of  James  J.  Gilfillan  as  Treasurer  of  the  United 
States  was  duly  signed  by  the  President  and  on  the  2nd  of  July, 
Mr.  Gilfillan  changed  offices  with  Mr.  Wyman. 

James  Gilfillan  was  Treasurer  until  the  spring  of  1883,  sub- 
mitting his  resignation  to  the  President  on  March  5  to  take  effect 
on  the  first  of  April.  He  had  accepted  the  position  of  treasurer 
and  manager  of  the  Mutual  Trust  Company  of  New  York.  The 
Washington  Evening  Star  said  of  Mr.  Gilfillan  that  he  "has  been 
so  efficient  in  the  discharge  of  his  responsible  duties,  and  so  cour- 
teous and  obliging  to  all  who  have  approached  him,  that  he  will 
leave  his  official  position  with  nothing  but  praise  from  everybody." 
The  Banker's  Magazine  and  Statistical  Register  (New  York)  com- 
mented in  glowing  terms: 


"Treasurer  Gilfillan's  Retirement. — In  the  retirement 
of  James  Gilfillan,  Treasurer  of  the  United  States,  the 
Government  loses  a  man  it  cannot  replace.  He  made  so 
little  show  that  few  knew  of  his  existence.  He  despised 
notoriety  and  did  his  work  for  eight  or  ten  hours  a  day 
without  bragging  about  it  to  the  world.  General  Spinner 
was  called  the  watch  dog  of  the  Treasury,  and  yet  he  lost 
many  thousands  of  dollars,  from  the  payment  of  which 
Congress  released  him.  Mr.  Gilfillan  never  lost  a  dollar, 
but,  by  his  integrity  against  cliques,  he  saved  thousands 
to  the  Treasury,  and  nobody  was  high  enough  to  influence 
him  against  what  he  thought  to  be  his  duty." — credited  to 
"Wash.  Letter  to  Phila.  Press." 

The  May  (1883)  issue  of  the  same  Banker's  Magazine  contains 
this  interesting  sidelight: 

"United  States  Treasury. — The  committee  appointed 
to  examine  and  count  the  money  and  securities  of  the 
United  States  Treasury  completed  its  work  on  the  19th  of 
April.  This  count,  which  is  the  only  absolute  verification 
of  the  condition  of  the  Treasury  made  since  1872,  was  re- 
quired by  the  retirement  of  Treasurer  Gilfillan,  who  had 
not  yet  been  released  from  his  official  bond.  A  discrep- 
ancy of  three  cents  only  was  discovered  between  the  Treas- 
urer's accounts  and  the  cash  and  securities  on  hand,  and 
this  sum  is  in  excess  of  the  amount  stated  in  the  books, 
and  belongs  to  the  Government.  If  the  balance  had  been 
on  the  other  side  Mr.  Gilfillan  would  have  been  required 
to  make  good  the  deficit.  .  .  .  While  the  officers  of  the 
Treasury  were  morally  certain  that  everything  was  right, 
they  feared  that  during  the  past  ten  years,  when  hun- 
dreds of  millions  of  dollars  were  handled,  some  error 
might  have  occurred." 

He  remained  in  New  York,  presumably  with  the  Mutual  Trust 
Company,  filling  positions  variously  as  treasurer  and  president, 
until  1889.  He  then  returned  to  Connecticut,  and  lived  in  Col- 
chester until  his  death  in  1929,  at  the  advanced  age  of  93 — per 
ardua  ad  astra. 


Mr.  Edward  James  Gavegan's  father  was  Matthew  Gavegan  of 


New  Haven,  Connecticut,  a  journalist  and  veteran  of  the  Civil  War. 
His  mother  was  Helen  J.   (Barry)   Gavegan. 

He  was  born  April  5,  1863,  in  Windsor,  Connecticut,  and  grad- 
uated from  the  Rockville  High  School.  At  the  exercises  of  the 
Class  of  1880,  held  in  the  First  Congregational  Church,  the  audi- 
ence heard  his  fine  declamation  on  "Emmet's  Speech  at  His  Trial." 
At  Yale,  he  was  given  the  Second  colloquy  appointment  Junior  and 
Senior  years.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Freshman  Glee  Club;  Uni- 
versity Glee  Club  two  years;  College  Choir;  Porter  Literary  Society 
and  Delta  Kappa  Epsilon.  He  attended  Yale  School  of  Law 
1889-91  (LL.B.  1891;  shared  Munson  Prize  Senior  year;  member 
University  Glee  Club  and  Kent  Club). 

Admitted  to  New  York  bar  in  1892,  he  became  a  Justice  of 
the  Supreme  Court  of  New  York  State  for  the  First  Judicial  Dis- 
trict in  1910  and  continued  until  retirement  in  1933  and  was  an 
official  referee,  1934-43.  He  represented  several  labor  unions  of 
the  building  trade  from  1906  to  1909.  He  was  appointed  a  mem- 
ber of  President  Theodore  Roosevelt's  White  House  Labor  Con- 
ference, a  director  of  the  American  Institute  of  Criminal  Law  and 
Criminology;  he  was  also  on  the  Advisory  Board  of  St.  Vincent's 
Hospital;  a  member  of  the  Association  of  the  Bar  of  the  City  of 
New  York,  New  York  State  and  County  Bar  Associations,  New 
York  County  Lawyers  Association,  American  and  International  Bar 
Associations,  Society  of  Medical  Jurisprudence,  Academy  of  Polit- 
ical Science  (New  York),  American  Federation  of  Musicians,  So- 
ciety of  St.  Vincent  de  Paul,  and  the  Roman  Catholic  Church. 

He  was  married  October  14,  1897,  in  New  York  City  to  Anna 
Ida  Walters  O'Mara.  They  had  no  children.  He  died  February 
6,  1943,  in  New  York  City  and  was  buried  in  Calvary  Cemetery, 
New  York  City. 


Dwight  Loomis,  born  in  Columbia,  Connecticut,  July  27,  1821, 
attended  the  common  schools  and  academies  in  Monson  and  Am- 
herst, Massachusetts.  He  taught  school  and  was  graduated  from 
the  law  department  of  Yale  University  in  1847.  He  was  admitted 
to  the  Bar  the  same  year  and  commenced  practice  at  Rockville. 
He  was  elected  a  member  of  the  State  House  of  Representatives  in 
1851,  and  a  member  of  the  State  Senate  1857-1859.  He  was  elected 
as  a  Republican  to  the  Thirty-Sixth  and  Thirty-Seventh  Congress 


(March  4,  1859-March  3,  1863).  Appointed  as  a  judge  of  the 
Superior  Court  of  the  State  1864-1875,  he  became  Associate  Jus- 
tice of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State  1875-1891.  He  moved  to 
Hartford  in  1892,  and  became  a  State  referee  from  1892  until  his 
death  in  a  train  accident  near  Waterbury,  Connecticut,  September 
17,  1903.  He  was  buried  in  Grove  Hill  Cemetery,  Rockville,  Con- 
necticut, respected  always  as  a  Christian  statesman  and  impartial 

His  portrait  hangs  in  the  State's  Attorney's  room  of  the  State 


Augustine  Lonergan,  born  in  Thompson,  Windham  County, 
Connecticut,  in  1874,  attended  the  public  school  at  Maple  Street 
in  Rockville  and  also  attended  school  in  Bridgeport.  He  worked 
for  some  time  in  the  Hockanum  Mill.  He  was  graduated  from  the 
law  department  of  Yale  University  in  1902;  was  admitted  to  the 
Bar  in  1901,  and  commenced  practice  in  Hartford,  Connecticut. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  American  and  State  Bar  Associations. 
He  served  as  Representative  in  Congress  from  1913-1915,  1917- 
1921  and  1931-1933. 

He  was  elected  to  the  United  States  Senate  in  1932  and  served 
from  March  4,  1933,  to  January  3,  1939;  engaged  in  the  practice 
of  law  in  Washington,  D.C.,  until  his  death  there  on  October  18, 
1947;  was  interred  in  Mount  St.  Benedict's  Cemetery,  Hartford, 

It  was  Senator  Lonergan  who  unofficially  named  one  of  Hart- 
ford's streets,  "Rockville  Street,"  after  his  expressed  desire.  The 
official  name  was  given  to  the  street  on  October  26,  1925.  It  runs 
from  Vine  Street  to  Enfield  Street,  Hartford. 


Lucien  Burpee  was  born  in  Rockville,  October  12,  1855.  His 
father  was  Thomas  Francis  Burpee,  a  manufacturer,  who  was  a 
colonel  of  the  21st  Regiment,  Connecticut  Volunteers  during  the 
Civil  War  and  was  mortally  wounded  at  Cold  Harbor,  Virginia, 
June  9,  1864,  and  died  two  days  later. 

After  graduating  from  Rockville  High  School,  he  entered  Yale 
College,  where  he  received  two  prizes  in  English  Composition  in 


his  Sophomore  year,  high  oration  appointments  Junior  and  Senior 
years,  a  second  prize  at  the  Junior  Exhibition,  and  a  Townsend 
Premium  for  English  Composition  in  his  Senior  year;  spoke  at 
Commencement;  he  was  an  editor  of  the  Yale  Literary  Magazine 
and  of  the  Banner  senior  year. 

Lucien  Burpee  studied  at  Yale  School  of  Law  (1879-1880)  and 
at  Hamilton  College  School  of  Law,  receiving  the  degree  of  LL.B. 
at  the  latter  institution.  He  was  admitted  to  the  New  York  Bar 
in  July,  1880;  held  the  Larned  and  Clark  fellowships  at  Yale  1880- 
81  (student  in  American  history)  at  the  same  time  tutoring  and 
studying  law.  He  was  admitted  to  the  Connecticut  Bar  by  motion, 
December,  1880. 

He  served  as  a  judge  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Errors,  New 
York,  from  1921  until  his  death. 

He  enlisted  in  the  Connecticut  National  Guard  1877;  was 
elected  a  Second  Lieutenant  of  Company  A,  second  regiment  1881; 
became  Captain  1887;  served  as  Colonel  of  the  2nd  Regiment  from 
1895  to  1899;  appointed  Lieutenant  Colonel  and  Judge  Advocate 
of  United  States  Volunteers  1898;  served  during  Spanish-American 
War  on  the  staffs  of  General  Miles  and  General  Wilson,  receiving 
honorable  mention  for  distinguished  service  in  the  Porto  Rican 
campaign;  received  his  discharge  January  1,  1899. 

He  was  a  member  of  the  New  Haven  County  Bar  Association, 
Loyal  Legion,  Sons  of  Veterans,  Spanish  War  Veterans,  Naval  and 
Military  Order  of  the  Spanish  War,  Sons  of  the  American  Revo- 
lution, Military  and  Naval  Order  of  Foreign  Wars  of  the  United 
States  (past  commander),  Veterans  of  Foreign  Wars  and  the 
Rockville  Congregational  Church. 

He  was  married  three  times. 

He  was  buried  in  Grove  Hill  Cemetery,  Rockville.  A  guard 
of  honor,  appointed  by  the  War  Department,  escorted  the  body 
to  the  grave,  where  a  bugler  sounded  taps. 


Born  in  Rockville,  Connecticut,  Brigadier  General  Loomis  was 
graduated  from  West  Point  in  1914  and  was  promoted  to  First  Lieu- 
tenant in  1916.  He  was  made  a  captain  in  July,  1917,  and  was 
promoted  to  the  temporary  rank  of  lieutenant  colonel  in  October, 
1918.  He  reverted  to  his  permanent  rank  of  captain  in  March, 
1920,  and  was  made  permanent  major  in  July,  1920.     In  1935  he 


was  made  a  lieutenant  colonel  and  in  June,  1941,  he  was  promoted 
to  colonel.  In  October,  1941,  he  was  promoted  to  the  temporary 
grade  of  brigadier  general,  United  States  Army. 

Upon  graduation  from  West  Point  General  Loomis  was  first 
assigned  to  Paris  as  assistant  to  the  military  attache  in  1914.  He 
returned  to  the  United  States  for  duty  at  Fort  Monroe,  Virginia, 
in  October,  1914.  He  was  in  Hawaii  from  October,  1915,  to  April, 
1918,  where  he  served  as  aide  to  the  Department  Commander  at 
Honolulu  and  as  the  Hawaiian  Department  Intelligence  Officer. 

After  a  year  at  Fort  Monroe,  Virginia,  he  returned  to  West 
Point  where  he  served  as  an  instructor  in  French  for  four  years. 
He  then  attended  the  Advanced  Course  of  the  Coast  Artillery 
School  at  Fort  Monroe  and  was  graduated  in  1925.  He  then  joined 
the  Seventh  Coast  Artillery  at  Fort  Hancock,  New  Jersey  for  two 

General  Loomis  graduated  from  the  Command  and  General 
Staff  School  at  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas,  in  1928.  He  then  re- 
turned to  Fort  Monroe  as  an  instructor  for  four  years.  In  1932  he 
took  the  course  at  the  Ecole  Superieure  de  Guerre,  Paris,  France, 
and  was  graduated  in  1934,  when  he  returned  to  the  United  States 
for  duty  at  Fort  Totten,  New  York,  and  with  the  Organized  Re- 
serves in  New  York  City  until  1938. 

In  1939  he  graduated  from  the  Army  War  College,  Washing- 
ton, D.  C,  and  remained  in  Washington  as  a  member  of  the  War 
Plans  Division  of  the  War  Department  General  Staff.  Upon  his 
appointment  as  brigadier  general  in  October,  1941,  he  was  as- 
signed to  command  the  Portland  Subsector  of  the  New  England 
Sector  with  headquarters  at  Fort  Williams,  Maine.  In  May,  1942, 
he  was  transferred  to  Jacksonville,  Florida,  to  command  the  South- 
ern Sector  of  the  Eastern  Defense  Command. 

In  October,  1943,  General  Loomis  went  to  Algiers  in  North 
Africa  where  he  was  appointed  Chairman  of  the  Joint  Rearma- 
ment Committee,  North  Africa  Theater  of  Operations.  In  that 
capacity  he  was  responsible  for  the  coordination  of  all  matters  in 
connection  with  the  equipping  and  training  of  the  French  Armed 
Forces.  After  the  liberation  of  Paris  this  committee  was  transferred 
to  that  city  and  became  the  Rearmament  Division  of  Supreme 
Headquarters  Allied  Expeditionary  Forces,  Mission  to  France,  of 
which  General  Loomis  was  the  Chief. 

From  October,  1945,  until  his  retirement  in  November,  1946, 
General  Loomis  was  Chief  of  the  Fiscal  and  Budget  Section,  Head- 
quarters Army  Ground  Forces,  Washington,  D.  C. 




Distinguished   Service   Medal  Officer  of  the  Legion  of  Honor 

Legion  of  Merit  Groix  de  Guerre  with  Palm 

Bronze  Star  Medal  Grand  Officer  Nichau-Iftikar, 

World  War  I  Victory  Medal  Tunisia 

American   Campaign   Medal 

American  Defense  Service  Medal  GREAT  BRITAIN 

with  foreign  service  clasp 
World  War  II  Victory  Medal 
European  African  Middle  Eastern 

Campaign  Medal 

Commander  of  the  British  Empire 


Charles  W.  Burpee  was  born  November  13,  1859,  in  Rock- 
ville.  His  father  was  Thomas  Francis  Burpee,  a  woolen  manufac- 
turer in  Rockville.  After  attending  Rockville  High  School,  Charles 
Rurpee  went  to  Yale  and  received  first  prize  in  English  composi- 
tion in  his  Sophomore  year  and  second  prize  in  the  second  term; 
first  dispute  appointment  and  Exhibition  speaker  in  his  Junior 
year;  first  colloquy  appointment  Senior  year.  He  was  on  the  board 
of  the  "Yale  Courant"  his  sophomore  year;  chairman  editorial  board 
"Yale  Daily  News,"  Senior  year;  a  Class  deacon;  co-author  of 
"Medes,"  a  two-act  play  produced  by  the  Yale  University  Dramatic 
Association  in  1881;  acting  fleet  captain  Yale  Corinthian  Yacht 
Club  Senior  year;  member  Gamma  Nu,  Psi  Upsilon  and  Skull  and 

He  became  city  editor  of  the  "Waterbury  (Conn.)  American" 
1883-91;  part  owner  "Bridgeport  (Conn.)  Standard"  1891-95;  on 
the  staff  of  the  "Hartford  Courant"  1895-1904;  managing  editor 
1900-04;  editor  Phoenix  Mutual  Life  Insurance  Company,  Hartford, 
and  later  Chief  of  Reinstatement  Division,  1904  until  retirement  in 
1935;  literary  editor  "Hartford  Times"  1930-35.  He  was  author  of 
"The  Military  History  of  Waterbury"  in  1891;  "Graduate  Course 
of  Applied  Psychology  in  Life  Insurance"  1913;  "First  Century  of 
the  Phoenix  National  Bank  of  Hartford"  1914;  a  "History  of  Hart- 
ford County"  1928;  "A  Century  in  Hartford"  (1931)  and  Burpee's 
"The  Story  of  Connecticut,"  1939  (4  vols.).  He  contributed  to 
"History  of  Waterbury"  1896  by  Rev.  Joseph  Anderson,  D.D., 
member  of  the  Yale  Corporation;  and  "History  of  Connecticut  in 
Monograph  Form"  by  Norris  Galpin  Osborn  1925.     He  enlisted  as 


a  private  in  the  First  Connecticut  Volunteers  during  the  Spanish- 
American  War;  was  a  Captain  of  the  Connecticut  National  Guard 
and  Colonel  of  the  First  Regiment  1917-21;  Vice-President  Yale 
Alumni  Association  of  Hartford  1908-09,  President  1909-10,  and 
secretary  Hartford  Yale  Loan  Fund;  member  Sons  of  the  Ameri- 
can Revolution;  Connecticut  Historical  Society,  Friends  of  Hart- 
ford, Congregational  Church.  He  was  married  November  5,  1885. 
He  died  May  13,  1945,  in  Hartford  and  was  buried  in  Southbury, 


From  a  humble  beginning  he  scaled  the  heights.  That  one 
sentence  describes  the  career  of  Charles  Phelps,  one  of  Rockville's 
most  prominent  citizens,  who  passed  away  February  8,  1940,  at 
Daytona  Beach,  Florida,  where  he  had  gone  with  Mrs.  Phelps  to 
spend  the  winter.  He  was  87  years  of  age.  Born  in  a  Methodist 
parsonage  in  East  Hartford  on  August  10,  1852,  to  Reverend  Ben- 
jamin C.  and  Sarah  Parker  Phelps,  he  carried  through  life  the 
training  he  received  in  that  humble  home,  and  always  had  a  deep 
reverence  for  the  things  which  are  sacred.  He  was  a  leading  law- 
yer, with  64  years  of  active  practice. 

He  obtained  his  early  education  at  Wethersfield,  Connecticut, 
and  East  Greenwich,  Rhode  Island.  In  1871,  he  entered  Wesleyan 
University  and  was  graduated  in  1875.  That  same  year  he  entered 
the  law  office  of  Judge  Benezet  H.  Bill  in  this  city  and  two  years 
later  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  From  that  point  on,  his  rise  was 
rapid  until  in  1897  he  was  elected  Secretary  of  State  and  in  1899 
he  became  the  first  Attorney  General  of  the  State  of  Connecticut. 

Mr.  Phelps  possessed  a  brilliant  mind  and  a  marvelous  memory. 
He  resembled  a  mighty  cathedral  in  that  one  had  to  be  a  distance 
away  in  order  really  to  appreciate  his  greatness.  Such  was  his 
memory,  he  never  forgot  a  name  and  would  call  off  dates  of  va- 
rious events  that  had  taken  place  years  ago.  He  was  quick  to  grasp 
a  problem  and  once  his  nimble  brain  began  to  work,  its  solution 
was  not  long  forthcoming.  All  his  friends  admired  him  for  his 
sense  of  humor  and  pleasing  personality. 

Mr.  Phelps  was  also  a  gifted  orator  with  poise  and  power. 
How  magnificently  his  sentences  marched!  He  charmed  his  friends 
with  his  speeches,  delivered  without  a  note,  of  beautiful  rhetoric, 
patriotic  sentiment,  touching  eloquence.  These  gifts  induced  Wes- 
leyan University  to  confer  upon  him  the  degree  of  Master  of  Arts. 


His  first  office  was  located  in  Tolland.  He  moved  to  Rock- 
ville  after  one  year. 

Mr.  Phelps  was  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  State  Board 
of  Examiners  of  applicants  for  admission  to  the  bar.  He  was  a 
county  coroner  from  the  time  of  the  creation  of  that  office  in  1883 
until  his  appointment  as  State's  Attorney  twenty-one  years  later. 
He  served  as  corporation  counsel  for  the  City  of  Rockville  from 
1890  to  1892  and  as  prosecuting  attorney  for  the  city  from  1890 
to  1897  and  as  State  Attorney  for  Tolland  County  from  1904  to 
1915.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Connecticut  House  of  Representa- 
tives from  the  Town  of  Vernon  in  1885  and  in  1893  was  elected 
to  the  State  Senate  from  the  twenty-third  senatorial  district.  In 
1902,  he  was  elected  a  delegate  to  the  State  Constitutional  Con- 
vention. He  was  also  a  member  of  the  Commission  appointed  by 
the  legislature  to  study  the  question  of  the  establishment  of  a  pub- 
lic utilities  commission  to  take  the  place  of  the  then  existing  rail- 
road commission. 

Mr.  Phelps  was  a  member  of  the  advisory  board  of  the  Rock- 
ville Branch  of  the  Hartford-Connecticut  Trust  Company,  and  was 
for  many  years  vice-president  of  the  Rockville  National  Bank, 
which  preceded  the  trust  company.  He  was  also  a  trustee  and 
for  many  years  president  of  the  George  Sykes  Manual  Training 
and  High  School.  He  was  president  of  the  Connecticut  Bar  As- 
sociation from  1914  to  1916. 

Mr.  Phelps  was  always  a  staunch  supporter  of  the  Republican 
party,  while  his  religious  faith  was  indicated  by  his  loyal  mem- 
bership in  the  Union  Congregational  Church. 

Along  strictly  professional  lines,  he  retained  membership  in 
the  American  Bar  Association  and  the  Connecticut  Bar  Associa- 
tion, having  served  as  president  of  the  Tolland  County  Bar  Asso- 
ciation for  more  than  thirty  years. 

He  was  affiliated  with  the  Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fel- 
lows and  the  college  fraternity  of  Psi  Upsilon,  was  also  a  member 
of  the  Hartford  Golf  Club  and  of  the  Authors'  Club  of  London, 
England.  He  also  held  membership  in  the  Connecticut  Society  of 
the  Sons  of  the  American  Revolution. 

His  great-grandfather  was  a  member  of  the  First  Constitu- 
tional Convention  in  1818,  representing  the  town  of  Somers,  Con- 



Dr.  Cora  E.  Lutz  is  Head  of  the  Classics  Department  at  Wil- 
son College,  Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania,  and  is  an  authority  on 
Medieval  Latin.  In  1949,  she  was  awarded  a  Guggenheim  schol- 
arship, which  enabled  her  to  spend  a  year  in  Europe  doing  basic 
research  on  a  book  which  will  be  published  shortly. 

She  has  had  three  books  published,  all  on  Medieval  litera- 
ture and  based  on  the  writing  of  Iohannis  Scotti,  famous  scholar, 
who  in  the  Middle  Ages  wrote  on  the  Seven  Arts.  She  not  only 
translated  the  manuscripts,  but  also  wrote  a  commentary  in  Eng- 
lish. The  fourth  book,  to  be  issued  shortly,  is  also  on  the  same 
noted  scholar. 

The  books  are  used  by  scholars  in  colleges  and  other  institu- 
tions of  higher  learning. 

Dr.  Lutz  was  graduated  from  Rockville  High  School  and  the 
Connecticut  College  for  Women  at  New  London.  She  received 
her  M.A.  and  her  Ph.D.  degrees  at  Yale  University.  She  was  ap- 
pointed a  professor  of  Latin  at  Judson  College,  Marion,  Alabama, 
and  was  later  appointed  assistant  professor  at  Wilson  College, 
Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania,  and  two  years  ago  was  appointed 
head  of  the  department  there. 

Miss  Lutz  still  makes  her  home  in  Rockville,  spending  the  sum- 
mers here.  She  is  listed  in  the  recent  Who's  Who  in  Eastern 
United  States  and  she  has  received  many  honors  in  educational 
and  literary  circles. 

Dr.  Lutz  is  a  member  of  the  American  Philological  Association, 
the  Medieval  Academy  of  America,  Connecticut  Academy  of  Arts 
and  Sciences,  the  Classical  Association,  and  Phi  Beta  Kappa. 


For  50  years  William  Churchill  Hammond  was  a  leader  in  mu- 
sical affairs  throughout  the  Connecticut  Valley.  He  carried  on 
three  careers — those  of  church  organist  and  choirmaster,  concert 
organist,  and  professor  of  music  in  a  college. 

Born  in  Rockville  November  28,  1860,  the  son  of  Joseph 
Churchill  Hammond,  Jr.,  and  Katherine  Isham  Burr,  he  began 
playing  the  organ  in  the  Second  Congregational  Church  here  Jan- 
uary 4,  in  his  fifteenth  year.  In  1884,  he  was  organist  of  the  Pearl 
Street  Congregational  Church  in  Hartford,  and  the  next  year  went 


to  Holvoke,  Massachusetts,  and  was  engaged  bv  the  Parish  Com- 
mittee for  one  year,  but  continued  as  organist  and  choirmaster  of 
the  Holvoke  Church  for  50  years. 

From  1890  to  1910,  Mr.  Hammond  made  a  specialty  of  organ 
recitals,  and  was  in  constant  demand  for  dedication  sendees  of  new 
organs  throughout  this  part  of  the  country. 

From  1890  to  1900,  he  was  instructor  of  organ  at  Smith  Col- 
lege. In  1896,  he  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  American  Guild 
of  Organists. 

In  September  of  1899,  he  was  called  to  be  the  head  of  the  De- 
partment of  Music  at  Mount  Holyoke  College,  where  he  was  con- 
stantly employed  for  nearly  forty  years.  In  1900  he  formed  the 
Choir  which  has  become  an  important  part  of  the  Mount  Holvoke 
College  music  program  and  has  carried  the  fame  of  the  college 
afar.  From  the  beginning  Mr.  Hammond  made  a  specialty  of 
Christmas  Carols,  and  for  ten  years  the  Glee  Club  of  Mount  Hol- 
voke rave  a  concert  in  Town  Hall,  New  York,  and  visited  Wash- 
ington.  Philadelphia.  Hartford,  Boston  and  other  cities,  gaining 
for  itself  a  great  reputation. 

In  1921.  when  services  were  resumed  in  the  rebuilt  church 
after  a  fire,  a  four  manual  organ,  with  85  stops,  built  by  the  E.  M. 
Skinner  Company,  was  installed. 

In  June.  1924,  he  gave  his  759th  recital  at  the  75th  Anniver- 
sary of  the  Holyoke  Congregational  Church,  and  in  that  year  the 

degree  of  Doctor  of  Music  was  conferred  on  him  bv  Mount  Hol- 

voke  College. 


Everett  J.  Lake  was  born  in  Woodstock,  Connecticut,  Febru- 
ary 8,  1871,  and  died  in  Hartford,  September  16,  1948.  He  lived 
in  Rockville  on  Elm  Street  for  a  number  of  years,  and  assisted  his 
father  in  the  Thomas  E.  Lake  Lumber  Company  on  East  Main 
Street  in  the  rear  of  the  Orcutt  Block. 

He  graduated  from  Worcester  Polytechnic  Institute  at  the  age 
of  16,  with  the  Bachelor  of  Science  degree  and  two  years  later 
from  Harvard  College  with  the  Bachelor  of  Arts  degree.  He  at- 
tended the  Harvard  Law  School  for  a  year. 

In  1900  he  was  elected  to  the  board  of  school  visitors  in  Hart- 
ford.    Three  years  later  he  was  elected  a  state  representative  and 


in  1904  a  state  senator.     During  the  World  War  he  was  in  charge 
of  Y.M.C.A.  work  at  a  debarkation  port  in  France. 

He  served  as  governor  of  the  State  one  term,  from  1921  to 
1923,  and  as  lieutenant-governor  from  1907  to  1909.  His  portrait 
is  in  the  State  Library  at  Hartford. 


Isaac  M.  Agard,  Ph.D.,  (Amherst)  the  esteemed  principal  of 
Rockville  High  School  for  eighteen  years  (1888-1906)  was  inaugu- 
rated president  of  Tillotson  College,  Austin,  Texas,  in  the  year 
1906.  He  assumed  the  duties  of  the  presidency  with  a  great  de- 
sire to  build  up  the  college  and  increase  its  usefulness.  A  Christian 
gentleman,  scholar  and  educator  with  modern  aims,  he  raised  the 
standards  of  general  scholarship  and  also  stressed  industrial  edu- 
cation; domestic  art  was  added  to  the  course  of  studv  on  his  recom- 
mendation and  the  largest  student  body  the  college  ever  had  was 
enrolled  during  his  term  of  office.  There  stands  a  social  science 
building  to  which  his  name  is  attached.  He  was  loved  bv  students 
and  teachers. 

He  resigned  from  Tillotson  in  1918  to  become  dean  and  pro- 
fessor of  education  at  Straight  College,  New  Orleans,  Louisiana 
(now  Dillard  University)  where  he  served  six  years,  part  of  one 
year  acting  as  president.  After  eighteen  vears'  service  of  great 
usefulness,  Dr.  Agard  retired  to  Spencer,  Massachusetts,  where  he 
passed  away  on  January  28,  1925. 

Graduate  of  the  Grammar  School  in  Rockville 

Walter  Raymond  Agard,  professor  of  Classics;  A.B.  Amherst 
College,  1915  B.  Litt.,  Oxford  University,  England.  1921;  Litt.  D.. 
Cornell  College  1948;  student  Sorbonne.  France,  1921-22;  fellow 
American  School  of  Classical  Studies.  Athens,  1922;  fellow  Johns 
Hopkins,  1925-26;  Instructor  of  Greek.  Amherst  College.  1916-17, 
1922-23;  professor  of  Classics  and  Fine  Arts,  St.  Johns  College. 
Annapolis,  Marvland,  1923-27,  dean.  1924-27;  lecturer  art  historv. 
Johns  Hopkins,  1924;  professor  of  Classics,  University  of  Wiscon- 
sin, since  1927,  chairman  department  of  Classics  since  1938;  mem- 
ber staff  of  University  of  Wisconsin  Experimental  College  1927-31; 
department  of  Integrated  Liberal  Studies  since  1948;  lecturer  in 


classics,  University  of  Michigan,  summer,  1928.  Member  Arch- 
aeological Institute  of  America,  American  Philological  Association, 
Classical  Association  Atlantic  States,  Classical  Association  Middle 
West  and  South  (President  1943-44),  American  Classical  League, 
(President),  American  Federation  of  Teachers,  Phi  Beta  Kappa, 
Alpha  Delta  Phi,  Delta  Sigma  Rho.  Board  of  Directors,  American 
Council  of  Learned  Societies,  1951 — Author;  The  Greek  Tradition 
in  Sculpture,  1930;  The  New  Architectural  Sculpture,  1935;  Medi- 
cal Greek  and  Latin,  1937;  What  Democracy  Meant  to  the  Greeks, 
1942,  Classical  Myths  in  Sculpture,  1950.  Contributed  articles  on 
art,  classics,  and  education  to  journals.  Lecturer  on  ancient  and 
modern  art  for  Archaeological  Institute  of  America,  clubs,  museums. 


It  falls  to  the  lot  of  few  men  to  leave  behind  them  such  a 
worthy  record  of  good  citizenship  as  that  left  by  Lyman  Twining 
Tingier  in  the  city  of  Rockville  and  the  State  of  Connecticut. 

The  best  monument  is  the  memory  of  his  fellow  townsmen. 
Mr.  Tingier  became  prominent  in  the  professional  and  civic  af- 
fairs of  Rockville  and  vicinity,  and  was  recognized  as  a  potent 
influence  in  the  advancement  of  material  prosperity.  It  is  as  a 
permanent  benefactor  of  their  culture,  their  spiritual  and  intel- 
lectual development  that  posterity  will  remember  him.  He  was 
as  much  at  home  with  the  simplest  people  as  with  the  most  prom- 

Through  his  direct  paternal  line  and  through  several  collateral 
lines,  Mr.  Tingier  descended  from  several  of  the  oldest  and  most 
honored  families  of  New  England.  His  family  name  was  originally 
Tinker  and  was  changed  by  legislative  act  in  1857  to  the  present 
form  of  Tingier.  John  Tinker  was  the  founder  of  the  family  in 

Lyman  Twining  Tingier  was  born  in  Webster,  Massachusetts, 
June  9,  1862,  and  died  in  Rockville  April  3,  1920.  In  1888  he  was 
graduated  from  Yale  Law  School  and  was  soon  after  admitted  to 
the  Connecticut  Bar  at  New  Haven. 

In  1893  he  was  appointed  Clerk  of  the  Superior  Court  of  Tol- 
land County  in  which  office  he  continued  until  his  death.  In 
1911  he  was  elected  Mayor  of  the  city  of  Rockville,  an  office  he 
filled  with  unimpeachable  integrity. 

He  was  representative  from  Vernon  to  the  House  of  Repre- 


sentatives  and  during  the  second  term  of  Governor  Simeon  Bald- 
win, from  1913-15,  was  Lieutenant  Governor. 

He  was  judge  of  city  court  of  Rockville;  member  High  School 
Committee;  member  of  the  Board  of  School  Visitors;  member  of 
the  Vernon  Town  School  Committee;  Director  of  the  Savings  Bank 
of  Rockville. 

He  died  at  the  early  age  of  57.  Out  of  respect  to  his  memory 
the  flag  on  the  Capitol  in  Hartford  and  on  the  flag  pole  in  Cen- 
tral Park  in  Rockville  were  at  half  mast  from  the  time  of  his  death 
until  the  funeral.  His  portrait  in  the  Lieut.  Governor's  room  in  the 
Capitol  was  draped.  He  belonged  to  several  fraternal  organiza- 
tions and  Union  Congregational  Church. 


Dwight  Marcy  was  born  June  8,  1840,  in  Union,  Tolland 
County,  Connecticut.  He  studied  law  in  Hartford  and  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar  in  1865.  He  began  practice  in  Plainfield,  but 
on  his  appointment  as  State's  Attorney  for  Tolland  County  in  June, 
1867,  he  removed  his  office  to  Rockville  where  he  continued  until 
his  death. 

In  May,  1867,  he  was  chosen  assistant  clerk  of  the  House  of 
Representatives  of  the  State,  and  served  as  clerk  of  the  same  body 
the  following  year,  and  as  clerk  of  the  Senate  in  1869. 

In  1878,  1879,  and  1880,  he  was  elected  to  represent  the  town 
of  Vernon  in  the  House;  he  was  an  influential  member  of  the  as- 
sembly in  the  first  and  second  years  of  his  service,  and  was  elected 
as  Speaker  at  the  remaining  session.  At  the  time  of  his  death  he 
was  the  recognized  leader  of  the  bar  in  Tolland  County.  After 
having  suffered  from  Blight's  Disease  for  a  long  time,  he  died 
suddenly  at  his  home  May  7,  1887,  at  the  age  of  47. 

His  portrait  is  in  the  Speakers  room  of  the  State  Capitol. 


George  Talcott  was  born  in  Hartford,  January  20,  1827,  in 
the  days  of  the  stage  coach.  When  he  came  to  Rockville,  there 
was  but  one  store  in  a  wooden  building  north  of  the  Rock  Mill. 

In  1864,  already  a  deputy  sheriff,  Mr.  Talcott  was  appointed 
a  justice  of  the  peace.  In  those  early  days  prior  to  1887,  Judge 
Talcott  tried  all  police  cases,  but  when  the  city  organized  the 
Police  Court,  he  was  relieved  of  these  criminal  cases. 


Judge  Talcott's  court  room  was  the  scene  of  many  interesting 
cases.  Here  Judge  Dwight  Loomis  fought  legal  battles.  Here 
Edward  E.  Marvin,  later  a  Commissioner  of  the  United  States 
Court,  brought  cases,  as  did  Benezet  H.  Bill,  later  Judge  of  the 
Police  Court.  Mr.  Charles  Phelps,  Secretary  of  State,  tried  his 
first  case  here.    A.  P.  Hyde  of  Tolland  also  used  this  court  room. 

The  room  in  which  Judge  Talcott  held  court  was  erected  by 
his  father  and  fitted  up  as  a  court  room.  This  was  in  the  building 
which  is  now  used  as  a  parsonage  and  kindergarten  school  by  the 
Union  Congregational  Church. 

Some  idea  of  the  amount  of  business  a  trial  justice  had  may 
be  gathered  from  the  fact  that  in  one  year,  1885,  155  cases  were 
tried,  while  some  50  or  60  were  settled  out  of  court  after  legal 
proceedings  were  instituted.  Judge  Talcott  tried  at  least  2,500 
cases  in  his  thirty  years  as  trial  justice. 

On  his  90th  birthday,  he  had  the  unique  record  of  53  years 
as  Director  of  the  First  National  Bank,  President  49  years,  and  was 
presented  with  a  silver  loving  cup. 


Frederick  Swindells,  89,  passed  awav  at  Boston,  September  19, 

He  left  school  at  the  age  of  12  to  work  in  a  mill.  He  came  to 
America  in  1869,  and  his  first  work  in  this  country  was  at  Beacon 
Falls,  Massachusetts,  where  an  English  friend  helped  him  to  learn 
weaving.    He  later  became  a  loom  fixer  at  a  mill  in  Mystic  Bridge. 

While  at  Mystic  Bridge,  his  ability  was  recognized  and  six 
months  after  he  began  working  for  the  concern  he  was  made  over- 
seer of  the  weaving  department.  In  1874  he  visited  England  and 
brought  his  parents  to  Milbury,  Massachusetts.  Upon  his  return, 
he  became  overseer  and  designer  in  one  of  the  largest  woolen 
mills  in  this  country  at  the  time,  the  Maynard  plant  of  the  Ameri- 
can Woolen  Company.  In  1886  he  went  to  Fall  River,  Massachu- 
setts, to  take  charge  of  the  Jesse  Eddv  Manufacturing  Company  as 
superintendent  of  the  woolen  mill. 

He  came  to  Rockville  in  1891  as  superintendent  of  the  Rock 
Manufacturing  Company.  In  1901  he  became  general  manager 
and  soon  began  buying  out  the  various  stockholders.  Ultimately 
he  became  sole  owner  of  the  mill. 


The  Rock  Manufacturing  Company  was  the  first  in  this  coun- 
try to  manufacture  overcoat  cloth  for  the  French  government  in 
1914.  When  the  United  States  entered  World  War  I,  he  offered 
the  entire  production  of  the  mill  for  government  use,  and  during 
the  time  it  was  used  for  this  purpose,  enough  material  was  woven 
to  make  500,000  overcoats. 

He  was  a  member  of  the  Washington  Commandery,  Knights 
Templar,  Hartford,  and  a  trustee  of  the  Johnson  Memorial  Hos- 
pital in  Stafford  Springs. 

Many  worthy  charities  have  benefited  by  his  generosity 
through  individual  donations  and  his  allotment  of  funds  from  the 
Frederick  W.  Swindells  Charitable  Foundation.  He  lived  quietly 
and  his  devotion  to  home  and  family  manifested  itself  in  the  form 
of  a  Carillon  Tower  at  the  Hill  Crest  Park  Cemetery,  Springfield, 

Among  the  charities  is  the  special  fund  for  the  care  of  Rock- 
ville  patients  who  need  attention  and  cannot  afford  to  pay  for  care 
at  both  St.  Francis  and  Hartford  Hospitals  in  Hartford. 


Benezet  Hough  Bill  was  bora  February  26,  1829,  at  New  Mil- 
ford,  Pennsylvania,  and  received  his  primary  education  in  the  state 
of  his  birth.  When  but  six  years  old  he  made  the  trip  with  his 
parents  to  Connecticut.  His  first  school  teacher  was  his  father. 
Later  he  attended  the  Lebanon  Academy,  the  Suffield  Literary 
Institute,  and  the  Academy  at  Wilbraham,  Massachusetts.  He 
taught  school  at  Lebanon,  Connecticut,  and  in  1851  entered  the 
law  office  of  Hon.  Dwight  Loomis  at  Rockville,  and  graduated 
from  the  Yale  Law  School  at  New  Haven  in  the  class  of  1854  with 
the  degree  of  B.L. 

Possessing  fine  natural  talent  and  superior  qualifications,  he 
established  in  a  very  brief  period  not  only  a  remunerative  business, 
but  a  most  excellent  reputation  as  a  citizen  and  a  grand  and  kindly 
gentleman.  In  1869  he  was  appointed  State's  Attornev  for  Tolland 
County,  and  held  the  office  for  twenty-four  years.  He  held  the 
position  of  Judge  of  the  Rockville  City  Court  for  manv  years,  re- 
signing in  1899,  owing  to  the  age  limit.  For  a  number  of  vears  he 
was  corporation  counsel  and  prosecuting  attornev. 

He  was  one  of  the  first  lawyers  to  practice  in  the  countv  of 



Lebbeus  Bissell  was  born  January  8,  1810,  at  Wolcottville  (now 
Torrington)  Connecticut.  When  a  boy  of  ten  he  came  to  Vernon 
to  live  with  his  uncle,  Lebbeus  P.  Tinker,  a  prominent  citizen,  mer- 
chant, postmaster,  and  for  30  years,  1815-45,  town  clerk.  The  trip 
by  team,  there  being  no  other  way  of  transportation  at  that  time, 
was  a  great  adventure  for  the  boy.  He  arrived  with  his  father  at 
Uncle  Tinker's  home  on  April  1,  1820. 

He  stayed  with  his  uncle  at  Vernon  until  he  was  twenty-one 
years  of  age,  and  under  his  guidance  received  his  first  training 
in  business.  He  attended  school  in  Vernon,  and  in  1825  spent  six 
months  in  the  first  term  of  the  famous  John  Hall  School  at  Elling- 

In  1835,  in  companv  with  Bela  Abbott,  he  took  charge  of  the 
mercantile  business  of  Lebbeus  P.  Tinker,  the  new  firm  name  be- 
ing Bissell  &  Abbott.  This  partnership  continued  for  about  five 
years,  when  Mr.  Bissell  became  sole  proprietor. 

Mr.  Bissell  continued  in  the  mercantile  business  in  Vernon 
until  November,  1847,  when  he  removed  his  stock  of  goods  to  Rock- 
ville,  bought  out  the  interest  of  George  Maxwell  in  the  firm  of 
White  &  Maxwell,  and  with  Stanlev  White  formed  the  new  firm 
of  White  &  Bissell.  The  business  was  located  on  the  southwest 
corner  of  West  Main  and  Union  Streets.  The  firm  was  in  existence 
about  ten  vears  when  Mr.  Bissell  sold  out  to  George  Groves,  E.  S. 
Henry  and  Joseph  Selden.  Soon  after  this  Mr.  Bissell  built  a 
handsome  block  on  West  Main  Street,  almost  opposite  Vernon 
Avenue,  where  he  resumed  business  and  continued  until  the  end 
of  his  mercantile  career,  when  he  disposed  of  his  business  to  Cyrus 
White.  About  1870  was  established  the  insurance  firm  of  L.  Bis- 
sell &  Son  which  has  grown  and  developed  into  a  leading  insur- 
ance business. 

In  1824,  when  a  boy  of  fourteen,  Mr.  Bissell  took  a  trip  to 
Sturbridge,  Massachusetts,  which  he  never  forgot.  He  accom- 
panied Simeon  Cooley,  who  was  taking  in  a  load  of  teasels  (used 
to  raise  a  nap  on  woolen  cloth ) .  While  in  Sturbridge  he  saw  the 
Marquis  de  Lafayette. 

In  1836  Mr.  Bissell  cast  his  first  Presidential  vote  for  Martin 
VanBuren,  and  voted  for  everv  Democratic  candidate  during  his 
life,  though  he  did  not  enter  actively  into  politics.  He  died  at  the 
age  of  93  years. 



Honorable  Stevens  Henry  at  an  early  age  became  a  resident 
of  Rockville  where  he  attended  the  local  schools.  During  early 
manhood  he  went  into  the  dry  goods  business.  As  Mr.  Henry 
succeeded  in  business,  so  his  position  and  influence  in  the  town  be- 
came increasingly  useful.  He  was  among  the  most  prominent  of 
those  who  founded  the  industrial  and  business  growth  of  Rock- 

In  1882  he  was  elected  to  the  State  Legislature.  In  1888  he 
was  nominated  and  elected  State  treasurer,  and  served  until  1913. 
He  was  Rockville's  third  mayor,  and  was  elected  to  Congress  for 
four  successive  terms,  from  1895-1913. 

His  public  bequests  totaled  approximately  $300,000.  The 
Rockville  City  Hospital  received  a  bequest  of  $100,000,  the  City  of 
Rockville  received  Fox  Hill,  valued  at  $25,000,  for  a  public  park 
and  $25,000  in  cash  for  improving  the  grounds;  the  Henry  Build- 
ing, located  in  the  center  of  Rockville,  was  given  to  the  town  of 
Vernon,  and  the  town  was  also  remembered  with  a  presentation 
of  $30,000  to  build  a  mortuary  chapel  at  Grove  Hill  cemetery.  The 
High  School,  Connecticut  Agricultural  College  and  the  Connecti- 
cut Historical  Society  were  also  remembered. 

He  was  a  lover  of  nature  and  the  great  outdoors.  In  his  ex- 
tremely busy  life  he  found  spare  moments  to  devote  to  the  studv  of 
agricultural  pursuits,  evolving  plans  for  the  betterment  of  this  ac- 
tivity. He  was  the  owner  of  a  fine  herd  of  thoroughbred  Jerseys 
and  took  great  pride  in  his  splendid  stock  farm.  He  was  a  lover  of 
flowers,  and  had  a  beautiful  rose  garden.  A  gentleman  of  the  old 
school,  he  was  chivalrous  and  ever  thoughtful  of  others. 


The  coming  of  George  Maxwell  to  Rockville  in  1847  brought 
industrial  development.  He  was  a  descendant  of  Hugh  Maxwell, 
a  "minute-man"  of  Lexington,  and  a  lieutenant  colonel  in  the  Mas- 
sachusetts forces  in  the  Revolutionary  War. 

The  grandson  George  was  born  in  Charlemont,  Massachusetts. 
July  30,  1817.  After  he  had  opened  a  general  store  at  the  south- 
west corner  of  Main  and  Union  Streets,  Rockville — on  grounds 
which  he  and  his  children  were  later  to  beautifv  as  their  place  of 
residence — he  became  identified  with  the  New  England  Manufac- 



turing  Company,  which  Allen  Hammond  and  George  Kellogg  had 
started  in  1836. 

Allen  Park  Hammond,  David  Sykes,  Charles  Bottomley  and 
George  Sykes  became  closely  associated  with  George  Maxwell,  or, 
as  he  was  known,  "Deacon"  Maxwell.  Under  the  able  leadership 
of  George  Maxwell  the  mills  made  great  progress.  In  1880  his 
oldest  son,  Francis  Taylor  Maxwell,  went  to  work  for  the  Hocka- 
num  mill  as  bookkeeper  and  secretary,  and  became  treasurer  and 
president  upon  the  death  of  his  father,  April  2,  1891.  In  1906, 
the  Hockanum  Mills  Company  was  organized  as  a  holding  corpo- 
ration with  $6,000,000.  capital  with  Francis  T.  Maxwell  as  presi- 
dent. Four  companies  were  combined:  The  Hockanum,  The 
Springville,  The  New  England,  and  The  Minterburn  (or  the  former 
Warp  Mill  reconstructed). 

Francis  T.  Maxwell  was  born  in  Rockville,  January  4,  1861, 
educated  in  the  public  schools,  and  was  a  member  of  the  class  of 
1880,  Rockville  High  School.  In  1896  he  was  elected  a  member  of 
the  City  Common  Council;  in  1898  he  represented  the  town  in 
the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  General  Assembly;  in  1900  he 
was  elected  to  the  State  Senate  by  the  voters  of  the  23rd  District; 



and  in   1892  was  commissioned  Aide-de-Camp  with  the  title   of 
Colonel  on  Governor  Morgan  G.  Bulkeley's  staff. 

Colonel  Maxwell  has  enshrined  himself  for  all  time  in  the 
hearts  of  the  people.  He  had  a  skillful  hand:  he  sewed  up  the 
seams  of  discord;  he  had  a  radiant  mind;  and  he  had  a  generous 
heart,  whose  quiet  benefactions  reached  innumerable  homes. 



George  Sykes,  born  of  an  ancestry  of  skilled  woolen  workers 
on  April  4,  1840,  died  on  December  23,  1903.  He  came  from  Hon- 
ley,  Huddersfield,  Yorkshire,  England.  When  he  was  eleven  years 
of  age  he  came  to  America,  and  found  employment  in  the  woolen 
mills  of  E.  S.  Hall  and  Company  at  Millville,  Massachusetts.  At 
the  age  of  fourteen  he  was  placed  in  the  carding  room,  and  in 
1863  was  given  charge  of  the  weaving  in  the  woolen  mills  of 
Frederick  Fullerton  &  Company  of  Cavendish,  Vermont,  where  his 
marked  efficiency  gave  him  within  a  year  the  position  of  Super- 
intendent of  the  mills. 

In  the  year  1866  he  came  to  Rockville  to  assume  the  manage- 
ment of  the  Hockanum  Mills.  With  tireless  energy  he  introduced 
new  equipment  and  business  methods,  and  sought  to  make  the 
Hockanum  brand  of  goods  the  best  in  the  country. 

It  was  in  the  twilight  of  his  years  that  he  passed  away.  Fu- 
neral services  were  held  on  a  day  of  a  severe  storm,  December  26, 
in  Union  Congregational  Church  of  which  he  was  a  faithful  mem- 
ber. At  that  service  the  Rev.  Dr.  Charles  E.  McKinley,  his  pastor, 
paid  this  noble  tribute: 

"Of  all  the  men  I  have  ever  known,  Mr.  Sykes  was  one  of 
the  most  genuine.  He  loved  the  sincere,  the  solid,  the  sub- 
stantial, the  enduring;  and  he  was  what  he  loved.  He  hated 
all  sham  and  pretense  and  make-believe  with  a  most  righteous 
hatred.  Deceit  and  trickery  of  every  kind  were  foreign  to  his 
nature.  He  would  rather  fight  a  man  any  day  than  deceive 
him.  In  the  goods  he  made,  and  in  the  men  he  loved  as  friends, 
required  the  qualities  that  will  wear.  If  he  built  a  house, 
or  helped  to  build  a  church,  it  must  be  not  only  fair  and  beau- 
tiful, but  substantial  and  enduring.     If  he  bought  a  picture  to 


hang  upon  his  walls,  it  must  be  a  real  thing  of  beauty  that 
would  be  a  lasting  joy,  not  a  piece  of  prettiness  that  would 
soon  lose  its  charm. 

The  same  love  of  sincerity  and  reality  appeared  in  his 
religion.  If  he  acknowledged  fewer  religious  obligations  than 
some,  he  lived  up  to  what  he  did  acknowledge  better  than 
most.  Speaking  to  me  once  of  his  preference  —  a  very 
natural  preference,  indeed — for  the  substantial  things  of  his 
native  England  over  the  more  showy  ways  of  France,  he  told 
me,  with  a  tenderness  that  I  rejoice  to  recall  today,  that  he 
was  baptized  in  infancy  by  the  same  minister  that  had  bap- 
tized his  mother  as  a  child  before  him  and  had  continued  all 
those  years  in  the  service  of  the  same  parish.  He  loved  en- 
during truth,  and  he  loved  the  men  and  the  institutions  that 
embodied  such  truth  in  themselves.  We  take  comfort  today, 
as  we  bid  him  an  earthly  farewell,  in  remembering  that  this 
man  had  his  feet  firmly  planted  on  the  Rock  of  Ages." 


Thomas  W.  Sykes  came  to  Rockville  from  North  Adams,  Mas- 
sachusetts, where  for  thirty-three  years  he  had  carried  the  large 
responsibilities  of  superintendent  and  general  manager  of  the 
North  Adams  Manufacturing  Company.  Beginning  as  a  boy  work- 
ing on  a  broad  loom  at  Millville,  Massachusetts,  he  advanced  step 
by  step  in  the  woolen  industry  until  he  was  recognized  as  one  of 
the  most  capable  managers  of  his  day. 

He  was  born  in  Yorkshire,  England,  November  16,  1842,  then 
after  a  long  and  successful  period  in  Massachusetts  took  up  his 
residence  in  Rockville,  Connecticut,  in  the  year  1906  as  the  head 
of  the  Minterburn  Manufacturing  Company.  Here  he  established 
an  attractive  home  at  the  corner  of  Davis  and  Ellington  Avenues, 
but  to  the  regret  of  the  entire  community  he  died  three  years 
later — Wednesday,  July  21,  1909.  He  was  a  Christian  gentleman 
with  large  vision  and  fair  judgment. 


James  T.  Sykes,  whose  death  occurred  at  Rockville  on  Novem- 
ber 19,  1894,  at  the  early  age  of  thirty-nine  years,  was  from  boy- 
hood a  resident  of  Rockville,  where  he  was  highly  esteemed.  Born 
in  1855,  at  Millville,  he  came  to  Rockville  at  the  age  of  fourteen 


and  entered  the  mill  of  the  Hockanum  Company,  familiarizing  him- 
self with  the  work  of  every  department  until  he  was  made  super- 
intendent. His  sturdy  character  and  honesty  of  purpose  in  all 
things  were  greatly  admired  by  the  community. 


Born  February  2,  1858,  at  Millville,  Massachusetts,  David  A. 
Sykes  began  his  career  in  the  humblest  position  in  the  mills.  He 
started  as  a  bobbin  boy,  and  by  dint  of  tireless  pertinacity  he  be- 
came a  weaver,  a  designer,  assistant  superintendent,  and  finally 
general  superintendent.  He  was  the  first  superintendent  of  the 
new  Springville  Mill.  He  liked  the  average  workingman,  and  was 
a  friend  to  everybody. 

He  served  well  the  city  in  a  civic  capacity  as  a  member  of  the 
City  Council,  representing  the  First  Ward  for  seven  years;  also 
as  a  director  of  bank,  library,  and  Sykes  High  School. 

He  was  exceedingly  fond  of  Union  Congregational  Church, 
where  he  regularly  occupied  a  central  pew.  He  was  particularly 
fond  of  a  Boy's  Band.  Not  many  knew  his  ability  as  a  talented 

He  belonged  to  the  fraternal  organization  of  Fayette  Lodge  No. 
69,  the  Knights  Templar,  and  Sphinx  Temple  of  the  Mystic  Shrine. 

Rich  and  poor,  employers  and  employees  had  great  confidence 
in  David  A.  Sykes.  His  beautiful  home  on  Elm  Street  was  sold  to 
the  Veterans  of  Foreign  Wars. 



Antoni  Nicholas  Sadlak  was  born  at  Rockville  on  June  13,  1908. 
A  graduate  of  Rockville  High  School,  Mr.  Sadlak  took  the  pre- 
legal  course  at  Georgetown  College  and  was  granted  the  LL.B. 
degree  from  Georgetown  University  School  of  Law,  Washington, 
D.  C.  After  a  few  months  with  a  private  concern,  he  became  a 
special  inspector  with  the  Special  Inspections  Service  of  the  United 
States  Justice  Department,  and  then  served  as  executive  secretary 
to  Congressman  at  Large  B.  J.  Monkiewicz,  of  Connecticut.  In 
March,  1944,  he  resigned  this  position  to  accept  a  commission  in 
the  United  States  Naval  Reserve.  After  training,  he  was  assigned 
as  communications  watch  officer  and  top  secret  officer  on  the  staff 
of  Admiral  Thomas  C.  Kinkaid,  commander  of  the  Seventh  Fleet. 


His  duty  carried  him  to  New  Guinea,  the  Philippines  and  China. 
As  Representative-at-Large,  from  the  State  of  Connecticut,  he  has 
served  four  terms  in  Congress.  A  member  of  the  powerful  Ways 
and  Means  Committee,  he  has  also  been  a  member  of  the  Sub-com- 
mittee on  Administration  of  Internal  Revenue  Laws,  and  the  Com- 
mittee on  Committees. 


Brig.  General  John  W.  Middleton,  a  native  of  Melrose,  Con- 
necticut, and  a  graduate  of  Rockville  High  School,  has  just  retired 
from  his  army  career  after  35  years  of  service.  Graduated  from 
West  Point  in  1918,  he  served  in  Europe  after  the  end  of  the  first 
World  War.  Returning  to  this  country,  he  moved  from  post  to  post 
— an  instructor  of  mathematics  at  West  Point  from  1924-29,  and  as 
an  ROTC  instructor  at  Ohio  State  University  from  1930-36.  He 
served  under  Generals  Stilwell  and  Wedemeyer  in  China  and  then 
under  General  George  Marshall  all  during  the  latter's  diplomatic 
mission  to  China  after  the  War. 

Middleton  aided  in  preparing  the  Chinese  army  for  its  inva- 
tion  of  Burma  and  of  East  China. 

Later  Middleton  served  as  army  attache  in  India  from  1947 
to  1949. 

General  Middleton  holds  the  Legion  of  Merit  for  his  work  in 
China  during  the  war.  He  was  also  awarded  the  First  Class  Medal 
of  the  Chinese  Army,  Navy,  and  Air  Force  for  his  services  which 
included  directing  the  Chinese  Training  Center  of  the  Army  and 
serving  as  deputy  chief  of  staff  which  helped  the  Chinese  to  drive 
the  Japanese  out  of  southwest  China  opening  up  the  Burma  road. 
He  also  served  as  president  of  the  War  Crimes  Commission  in  China 
after  the  War. 



Carl  McKinley  was  born  October  9,  1895,  at  Yarmouth,  Maine, 
son  of  a  Congregational  clergyman  who  removed  soon  afterwards 
to  Rockville,  Connecticut,  where  most  of  his  boyhood  was  passed. 
In  1911  the  family  moved  to  Galesburg,  Illinois,  where  he  entered 
Knox  Conservatory  of  Music  and  also  spent  two  years  in  Knox 
College,  from  which  he  received  the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Music 
in  1915.  Entering  Harvard  the  next  year,  he  was  awarded  the 
Bachelor  of  Arts  degree  in  1917  with  special  honors  in  music.  A  fel- 
lowship from  Harvard  enabled  him  to  spend  the  next  winter  in 
New  York,  studying  composition  with  Ruben  Goldmark  and  organ 
with  Gaston  M.  Dethier.  The  following  spring  he  accepted  the 
position  of  organist  and  choirmaster  of  the  Center  Congregational 
Church  of  Hartford,  Connecticut,  where  in  addition  to  a  large  mod- 
ern organ  he  had  at  his  disposal  a  chorus  choir  of  twenty-five 
voices  which  attracted  wide  notice  for  the  excellence  of  its  work. 
In  addition  to  his  church  duties,  Mr.  McKinley  had  a  large  class 
of  private  pupils,  and  for  a  time  acted  as  organist  for  one  of  the 
principal  moving  picture  theatres  of  Hartford. 

In  1923  he  accepted  an  offer  to  become  organist  of  the  Capi- 
tol Theatre,  New  York  City,  at  that  time  the  largest  picture  the- 
atre in  the  world,  and  later  acted  for  some  time  as  assistant  con- 
ductor of  the  Capitol  Orchestra  of  eighty  men,  which  ranked  with 
the  best  symphonic  organizations  in  New  York. 

In  1927  he  was  awarded  a  Guggenheim  Fellowship  for  Euro- 
pean study,  and  spent  the  following  year  in  Paris  working  in  com- 
position with  Mile.  Nadia  Boulanger;  a  renewal  of  the  fellowship 
having  been  granted,  a  second  year  was  spent  in  Munich,  part  of 
which  was  devoted  to  a  detailed  study  of  the  Munich  Opera,  where 
Mr.  McKinley  was  solo  coach  and  stage  assistant. 

Returning  to  America  in  the  fall  of  1929  he  was  engaged  by 
the  late  George  W.  Chadwick  as  lecturer  of  Music  History  and  in- 
structor in  Composition  at  the  New  England  Conservatory  of 
Music;  he  later  became  head  of  the  Theory  Department,  as  well 
as  instructor  in  organ  at  the  Conservatory.  In  June,  1930,  Mr.  Mc- 
Kinley received  the  honorary  degree  of  Doctor  of  Music  from  Knox 
College.  In  September,  1931,  he  was  appointed  organist  and  choir- 
master of  the  Old  South  Church  in  Boston,  where  he  presides  over 



one  of  the  largest  and  finest  organs  in  New  England.  He  has 
built  up  the  Old  South  Church  Choir  into  a  choral  organization  of 
the  first  rank,  which  until  the  outbreak  of  the  war  gave  several 
programs  each  season  of  oratorio  and  choral  selections  which  at- 
tracted wide  attention. 

As  a  composer  Mr.  McKinley  first  attracted  attention  while  at 
Harvard  with  a  motet  for  mixed  voices,  "The  Man  of  Galilee," 
which  won  the  Francis  Boott  Prize,  a  sonata  for  violin  and  piano, 
and  an  orchestral  sketch  entitled  "Indian  Summer  Idyl"  which  was 
first  performed  by  the  orchestra  of  the  New  England  Conservatory 
under  Mr.  Chadwick  in  May,  1917. 

A  symphonic  poem,  "The  Blue  Flower"  was  awarded  the 
Flagler  prize  in  1921,  and  subsequently  performed  by  both  the 
New  York  Philharmonic  and  Chicago  Symphony  orchestras.  With 
his  third  symphonic  venture,  "Masquerade,"  Mr.  McKinley  scored 
a  real  hit.  First  performed  under  the  composer's  direction  at  a 
New  York  Stadium  concert  in  1926,  it  has  since  had  over  thirty 
performances  by  leading  symphonic  organizations  in  America,  in- 
cluding those  of  New  York,  Chicago,  Philadelphia,  Detroit,  Syra- 
cuse and  Boston  (the  symphony  concerts  of  January  16  and  17, 
1931)  and  in  various  German  cities,  including  Munich  and  Breslau. 
■Since  that  time  Mr.  McKinley  has  written  a  String  Quartet,  a 
Chorale,  Variations  and  Fugue  for  Orchestra  (recently  performed 
at  the  Eastman  School  of  Music  in  Rochester)  and  numerous  small 
pieces,  especially  for  organ,  quite  a  number  of  which  are  published 
by  J.  Fischer  &  Brother  and  the  H.  W.  Gray  Company  of  New 

With  regard  to  Mr.  McKinley 's  organ  playing,  the  following 
comments  were  included  in  a  review  of  a  concert  in  Providence, 

Rhode  Island,  by  the  critic  of  the  Providence  Journal: 

"A  few  minutes  of  his  organ  playing  were  enough  to  show 
that  here  was  an  artist  of  unusual  talents  and  that  his  abilities  as 
a  performer  were  equal  to  his  gifts  of  composition.  His  playing 
showed  absolute  security  of  technique  and  all  the  mechanics  which 
give  adequate  equipment  for  all  organistic  needs.  When  one  adds 
to  these  a  very  high  degree  of  musicality  which  gives  fine  artistry 
to  all  of  the  varied  offerings  of  a  widely  comprehensive  program, 
it  must  be  evident  that  this  was  not  only  a  very  enjoyable  per- 
formance but  that  it  was  on  a  very  high  plane  of  artistic  expres- 


The  Worcester  Telegram  (March  14,  1944)  had  the  following 
to  say  regarding  a  recital  in  All  Saints  Church: 

"Dr.  McKinley  is  an  organist  of  virtuoso  stature.  His  program 
had  balance  and  exceptional  merit.  Technically  and  interpretively 
it  was  a  privileged  evening  of  organ  music." 


The  Fourth  of  July  was  a  busy  day  in  the  life  of  the  Ham- 
monds on  Elm  Street.  Father  "Joe  m  the  early  morning  light 
called  to  the  boys  in  bed  to  be  ready  for  their  annual  patriotic 
demonstration.  After  a  hasty  breakfast,  the  family  started  on  their 
curious  parade:  William  Churchill  Hammond,  a  thrilled  boy  of 
eight  years,  smote  his  snare  drum  lustily.  Before  him  his  ex- 
soldier  father  blew  his  fife  in  martial  tunes.  Behind  him  brother 
Charles  Hammond  hugged  a  base  drum,  and  behind  the  drum, 
Mother  Hammond  handled  the  base  drum  sticks. 

And  the  parade  was  on — through  the  streets  of  the  sleeping 
city,  the  Hammond  Drum  and  Fife  Quartette  passed. 

In  1868,  these  two  boys,  proficient  drummers,  appeared  on 
numerous  occasions  in  the  city.  They  went  to  Hartford  and 
drummed  in  a  parade  there.  They  were  so  small  that  they  could 
not  march,  so  they  rode  in  a  carriage  while  they  drummed.  And 
their  success  in  drumming  resulted  in  the  organization  a  few  years 
later  by  J.  C.  Hammond,  Jr.,  of  the  Hammond  Silver  Drum  Corps. 


In  the  year  1870,  General  Ulysses  S.  Grant  accepted  an  invi- 
tation to  visit  Connecticut  and  to  speak  at  Woodstock  on  the  4th 
of  July.  It  proved  to  be  a  memorable  event.  Crowds  greeted  the 
President  on  his  arrival  in  Hartford,  where  he  was  the  guest  of 
Governor  Jewell.  A  public  reception  was  held  at  the  Allyn  House. 
The  president  was  escorted  by  the  Governor's  Food  Guard  with 
the  Armory  Band  of  Springfield,  and  the  City  Guard  with  Colt's 
Band.  There  was  a  reception  in  the  evening  on  the  illuminated 
grounds  of  the  Governor's  residence,  with  a  display  of  fireworks. 

Vernon  people  had  a  delightful  part  in  the  visit  of  the  Presi- 
dent. Early  Monday  morning,  July  4th,  a  special  train  left  Hartford 
and  proceeded  to  Putnam  via  Plainfield.  Henry  Ward  Beecher 
rode  on  the  new  engine,  "Governor  Jewell,"  from  Bolton  to  Plain- 



field.  The  train  stopped  at  Manchester,  Vernon,  Willimantic,  Baltic 
and  Plainfield. 

Superintendent  McManus  of  the  Hartford,  Providence  and 
Fishkill  Railroad  had  thoughtfully  planned  to  have  the  two  Ham- 
mond boys — proficient  drummers — Will  Hammond,  eight  years  of 
age  and  Charles,  five  years  of  age — play  for  the  President. 

As  the  train  pulled  in  at  the  depot  the  boys  saluted  the  Gen- 
eral on  the  platform  and  then  demonstrated  their  musical  ability. 
The  President  shook  their  hands  heartily  and  warmly  congratulat- 
ed them. 

The  excursion  to  Vernon  carried  hundreds  of  Rockville  people 
to  greet  the  president,  but  there  was  one  rift  in  the  lute,  one  dis- 
cordant note  in  the  joyous  occasion.  Only  one  individual  from 
Rockville  had  the  pleasure  of  a  formal  introduction  to  the  Repub- 
lican President,  and  he  was  the  staunchest  Democrat  in  the  State — 
a  democrat  emphatically — Lebbeus   Bissell. 

The  Woodstock  visit  was  a  huge  success.  The  brilliant  Henry 
Ward  Beecher  was  one  of  the  speakers.  President  Grant  and  a 
few  others  later  repaired  to  the  lawn  in  front  of  the  Academy,  and 
there  the  Grant  elm  tree  was  planted. 

(The  Daily  Graphic,  New  York,  October  15,  1877). 



In  1876,  the  Hammond  Silver  Drum  Corps  was  organized 
under  the  inspirational  leadership  of  J.  C.  Hammond,  Jr.  This 
juvenile  drum  band  was  composed  of  boys  from  ten  to  sixteen 
years  of  age,  and  became  famous  throughout  New  England. 
Often  they  were  invited  to  participate  in  various  celebrations. 
They  appeared  in  red  shirts  and  white  pants,  with  a  tall,  colored 
drum  major  at  their  head. 

Here  are  the  names  of  the  original  Hammond  Drum  Corps: 

Howard  K.  James     aged  10  A.  T.  Thompson         aged  14 

George  G.   Smith  "     10  Fred  Mills  "     15 

Elmer  E.  Pember         "     12  W.  J.  Austin  "     16 

Irving  C.  Treat  "     12  Clarence  T.  Bolles        "     16 

C.  H.  Hammond  "     13  W.  C.  Hammond  "     16 

William  Nelson,  drum  major,  colored,  over  6  ft. 

They  accompanied  the  Hartford  City  Guard  to  the  White 
Mountains,  N.  H.,  and  enjoyed  their  hospitality  for  two  weeks. 
They  were  entertained  at  the  Glen  House  on  Sunday,  July  6,  1884, 
and  a  copy  of  the  elaborate  menu  is  the  precious  possession  of  a 
few  people  in  Rockville  in  these  days. 

The  Daily  Graphic,  New  York,  carried  a  picture  of  the  Ham- 
mond Silver  Drum  Corps  in  parade,  in  their  issue  of  Monday, 
October  15,  1877. 


The  Hammond  Silver  Drum  Corps  was  reorganized  after  a 
few  years  and  its  name  changed  to  the  Rockville  Drum  Corps.  It 
met  with  great  success  for  several  years.  Colonel  Amos  Pease  in 
1872  engineered  the  first  of  a  series  of  five  Drummers'  Conventions, 
beginning  at  Somers;  the  second  re-union  was  held  at  Ellington, 
the  third  at  Stafford,  and  the  fourth  and  fifth  at  Rockville. 

The  convention  of  1876  at  Rockville  brought  a  hundred  drum- 
mers and  fifers  from  adjacent  counties.  They  had  come  to  com- 
pete for  honors.  On  the  veranda  of  the  Rockville  House  were 
piled  stacks  of  drums  of  various  shapes  and  sizes.  They  woke  the 

The  line  of  march  was  through  Main,  Union,  Village,  Orchard, 
Main,  Vernon  Avenue,  Brooklyn,  Market,  Elm,  Prospect,  Main  and 
Park  Streets  to  Talcott  Park,  where  competition  for  prizes  took 
place.   While  the  procession  was  marching,  the  church   and  mill 


bells  and  steam  whistles  helped  by  their  joyous  sounds  to  swell 
the  chorus,  and  there  was  a  general  hubbub  the  like  of  which 
was  never  heard  before. 


Drum  sticks  Sergeant  Hubbard,  New  Britain 

Fife  Joseph  Heck,  Hartford 

Cloth  Thomas  Lloyd,  Willimantic 

Cloth  O.  G.  Hanks,  Mansfield 

Chromo  W.  C.  Hammond,  Rockville 

The  veteran  horse  of  J.  C.  Hammond  was  brought  into  requisi- 
tion and  Joe  rigged  out  in  Yankee  Doodle  style,  and  with  drum 
strapped  upon  his  back  and  a  six-foot  fife  in  his  hand.  Various 
stories  of  the  convention  were  told:  Some  claim  that  the  music 
was  heard  as  far  as  Chicago,  and  the  sound  reaching  there  in  the 
night  time,  the  mayor  ordered  the  fire  bells  to  be  rung  as  an  alarm, 
supposing  that  the  southern  marauders  were  marching  on  the 
city.  When  the  first  blast  was  given  by  the  veterans,  the  proprietors 
of  the  "New  York  Sun"  hearing  the  sound  immediately  dispatched 
a  reporter  to  the  spot,  hence  the  excellent  report  in  that  paper. 

In  the  summer  of  1884  the  Rockville  Drum  Corps  escorted 
the  Hartford  City  Guard  Company  to  the  top  of  Mt.  Washington. 
The  members  of  the  drum  corps  went  to  Hartford  by  horse  drawn 
conveyances.  They  remained  in  Hartford  all  night,  camping  in 
the  armory  there.  They  started  at  day  break  the  next  morning  with 
the  Hartford  City  Guards  for  Boston.  There  they  boarded  a  train 
for  Portland.  They  were  entertained  royally  when  they  arrived 
in  the  Maine  city.  A  person  who  was  with  the  corps  at  the  time 
said  that  none  of  them  could  spend  any  money.  They  even  had 
their  boots  blacked  free.  Their  headquarters  were  at  the  old 
Falmouth  Hotel.  Those  were  the  days  when  Maine  was  the  only 
prohibition  state  in  the  Union.  So  cards  were  distributed  to  the 
members  to  visit  a  certain  part  of  the  hotel  "if  they  were  sick." 
It  is  said  that  nearly  everyone  in  the  party  reported  sick. 

They  had  a  trip  around  Casco  Bay  and  took  the  train  again 
for  Gorham  in  the  White  Mountains.  From  there  they  went  to 
the  Glen  House  by  stage  coaches. 

The  next  day  everyone  was  up  early,  for  it  was  decided  to 
march  to  the  top  of  Mt.  Washington.  It  was  a  very  hot  day  in 
the  middle  of  summer.  It  was  a  sorry  looking  crowd  that  finally 
arrived  at  the  top,  tired,  dirty  and  hungry.  Williver  Driggs  of 
Vernon,  who  was  bass  drummer,  carried  the  old  bass  drum  to  the 
top  of  the  mountain. 



Frederick  Kuhnly,  born  in  Rockville,  started  his  musical  career 
when  he  was  eight  years  old.  He  took  his  first  vocal  lesson 
at  the  age  of  17,  with  Mrs.  Percy  Cooley  as  teacher,  and  his 
first  public  appearance  was  in  Union  Church  Choir  under 
the  direction  of  Wesley  Howard  of  Hartford.  At  the  age  of 
18,  he  went  to  New  York  and  entered  the  Institute  of  Musical 
Art.  He  became  tenor  soloist  in  the  Old  Bergen  Reform  Church 
and  Temple  Emanuel,  New  York  City.  Concert  work  fol- 
lowed, then  radio.  He  was  one  of  the  pioneers  of  commercial 
programs.     He  did  work  also  in  Broadway  musicals. 

He  was  vocalist  at  the  Capitol  Theater  for  a  season,  record- 
ing for  Columbia  and  Victor  recording  companies.  He  was 
associated  with  such  radio  sponsors  as  General  Motors,  West- 
inghouse,  Socony  Oil,  Prudential  Life,  Cities  Service,  Atwater 
Kent,  Telephone  Hour,  Firestone  and  others.  He  served  on 
the  staff  at  Columbia  Broadcasting  Company  for  three  years, 
and  was  soloist  at  the  World's  Fair  in  the  "Railroads  on  Parade" 

The  Talcott  Brass  Band  of  28  pieces  gave  a  concert  in  the  First 
Congregational  Church  of  Rockville  as  early  as  February  6, 

Rockville  City  Band  of  27  pieces  made  its  initial  bow  to  the  public 
on  Washington's  Birthday,  February  22,  1919,  in  an  elaborate 
Concert  and  Ball  at  Turn  Hall. 

Francis  "Cork"  O'Keefe,  of  New  York  City,  managed  successfully 
for  years  the  famous  Casa  Loma  Orchestra.  He  was  a  gradu- 
ate of  Rockville  High  School,  and  lived  as  a  boy  at  142  Union 
Street  with  his  parents,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Patrick  O'Keefe. 

Frank  C.  Eidam  enlisted  with  the  West  Point  Band  at  the  Academy 
in  1922.  For  25  years  he  was  a  drummer.  He  retired  in  1952 
with  30  years  of  service  to  his  credit. 

John  Gworek  joined  the  West  Point  Band,  and  was  transferred  to 
the  United  States  Marine  Band.  He  retired  in  1954  with  30 
years  of  service. 

Lester  Ludke  pianist,  Harry  Goldfield  trumpet  and  assistant  direc- 
tor of  Paul  Whiteman's  orchestra. 


Emil  Dintch  for  nearly  30  years  a  drummer  at  West  Point. 

Jack  Keeney,  tenor  saxophonist,  with  several  of  the  country's  name 

Harry  Brown  trombonist  with  13th  Infantry  Band,  Fort  Adams, 
New  York. 

Bruno  Ertel,  clarinetist  with  Creatore's  Band  in  California  for  many 
years.     He  died  in  1952,  aged  84  years. 

William  Fay,  cornetist  for  several  years  with  Barnum  and  Bailey's 

The  Brandenburg  family,  Billie,  Pete,  Herman  and  Paul,  four  very 
talented   musicians.     Billie   with   Sousa's   Band  several  years. 

George  P.  Windheiser,  for  many  years  a  talented  and  popular 
musician,  who  with  his  father  owned  and  operated  success- 
fully a  music  store  on  the  Boardwalk  in  Bockville. 

Miss  Mariette  N.  Fitch,  teacher  and  encourager  of  many  talented 

St.  Bernard's  Band  organized  fifty  years  ago. 

The  Polish  Boys'  Band,  John  Loalbo,  director. 

The  Elks  Boys'  Band,  Max  Kabrick,  conductor. 

The  Citizens  Band,  sponsored  a  Roller  Skating  Rink  Concert  at  the 
old  Envelope  Shop  in  1882.     Floor  space  90  x  40  ft. 

Ernest  Hensig's  Band. 

Rockville  Fife  and  Drum  Corps. 

American  Legion  Drum  and  Bugle  Corps. 

From  1890  to  1940  Rockville  was  noted  for  its  celebrated  minstrel 
organizations.  There  were  ten  local  troups,  among  the  more 
prominent  and  active  were  The  Mastodon  Minstrels  organized 
in  1904;  Pythian  Club  Minstrels  organized  in  1908;  the  Sunny- 
side  Minstrels;  Elks  Minstrels;  Red  Men  Minstrels;  St.  John's 
Temperance  Society  Minstrels;  and  the  Rockville  Baseball 
Club   Minstrels. 

The  Fortnightly  Musical  Club  formed  in  1911  to  foster  young 
talent  in  the  community. 



Rockville  Male  Chorus  with  a  membership  of  30,  organized  at 
the  home  of  George  G.  Smith     on  January  9,  1912. 

Rockville  Junior  Music  Club  organized  by  pupils  of  Miss  Edith 
Ransom,  teacher,  and  affiliated  with  the  State  Federation  of 
Music  Clubs. 

The  Liedertafel  Singing  Society  organized  in  1876  by  a  group  of 
German  residents,  and  still  in  existence.  The  Society  has  won 
many  prizes  in  State  contests. 

The  Ampion  Quintel  of  Rockville:  tenors,  Messrs.  T.  Wm.  Stur- 
geon, C.  W.  Gorman,  C.  W.  Hale;  basses,  Messrs.  E.  H.  Dorr 
and  A.  E.  Waite. 




A  patriarch  of  Rockville,  signing  himself  "Veteran"  in  the 
Evening  Post  of  Hartford  many  years  ago,  described  graphically 
a  baseball  game,  the  first  Fourth  of  July  celebration  in  Rockville, 
in  the  year  1825,  130  years  ago.  There  were  three  important 
public  celebrations  in  those  years — Fast  Day,  Fourth  of  July  and 

"It  came  to  pass  that  the  Rock  Mill  shut  down  at  12  o'clock 
and  all  the  male  operatives  were  called  into  the  field  to  play 
baseball.  Mr.  George  Kellogg  and  Mr.  Ralph  Talcott  were  prin- 
cipals in  the  game.  All  hands  engaged  in  the  celebration  with 
zeal.  It  was  fashionable  in  old  times  to  take  a  little  sour  punch 
on  the  fourth  of  July.  So  between  the  innings  the  pail  of  punch 
came  around,  and  we  drank  a  cup  each  time  of  half-a-pint.  The 
expense  of  the  celebration  was  $2.46.  Twenty  men  were  assessed 
12^  cents  each,  which  sum